Kurayami Monogatari

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SAWA – Kouki Aisare Stance May 15, 2018

Filed under: SAWA — solarblade @ 11:51 pm

koukiaisarestance

Track Listing

  1. Shabon Time Machine Interlude
  2. Shabon Time Machine
  3. Fantasy GoGo
  4. Kouki Aisare Stance
  5. Kimagure Sparkling
  6. YOU AND ME
  7. Hyper Aloha Oe
  8. Early Summer
  9. Tentai Kansoku Interlude
  10. Tentai Kansoku
  11. Nagareboshi

1. Shabon Time Machine Interlude

Opening up the mini-album is short introduction (not to the album, but for the first actual song).  Of course as it has been for the last couple mini’s, I feel like things are more peppy and cutesy than SAWA’s more electro-sounding of the past.  I do like how the opening builds up to this explosion of sound though, but it ends quite swiftly after…

2. Shabon Time Machine

Though the sound of the intro stays for the first song of the album, Shabon Time Machine and the song is just as sparkly and bubbly and kind of cutesy throughout.  There’s some interesting beats going around (especially in its lyrics) as for SAWA, she’s more or less suiting the style due to her unique vocals.  It’s a decent track and it’s a lot better than her previous efforts in tackling such a sugary sound.  Although that bridge where the songs lyrics are played backwards is odd…

3. Fantasy GoGo

Next track up and I was surprised that unlike the poppy, bubbly sound, Fantasy GoGo has guitars and drums, and bass as well!  The change of style is nice and despite SAWA sounding more like she’s yelling the lyrics rather than singing, she keeps up pretty well.  Maybe it’s me but the song feels like something from her first mini-album, “COLORS”.

4. Kouki Aisare Stance

As the mini’s title track, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect (kind of was hoping for a harder song than her more relaxed songs as of late).  I guess this song meets in the middle for me because it sounds like an upbeat discotheque kind of track with some funk behind it.  I actually quite like this song and it’s party-like atmosphere just puts me in a happy mood, wasn’t expecting something like this from SAWA but I’m glad she did so.

5. Kimagure Sparkling

I guess if there was a song that kind of harkens back to more of her electro style, Kimagure Sparkling has this kind of dance beat and upbeat nature about it that kind of sounds of stuff from “RingaRinga”.  Though I will say it is a little safe of a song considering her past works have been quite nice.  Maybe its the beat that’s just kind of blah.  Anyways, it’s OK…but the previous couple tracks have stood out better.

6. YOU AND ME

Something about the next track screams happy hardcore for some reason and it may be the quick-paced arrangement here.  I think the song is interesting and the beats and synthwork is also intriguing to me.  Though I can’t say for certain that I enjoyed the song, there’s just something off about it.  It may be the style, it could even be SAWA being drowned out by the busy arrangement too.  Slightly messy I guess.

7. Hyper Aloha Oe

Thinking of the previous track, the arrangement might have suited the title of this track to be quite honest.  Hyper Aloha Oe starts off slowly with some ukulele and a quiet set of lyrics from SAWA before it opens up to this upbeat, EDM track.  It’s a fun track overall and definitely has a slight Island-y touch to it, but overall a cool dance track.

8. Early Summer

What an interesting way to open up our next track, Early Summer, but it’s definitely the album’s glaring track from the bell opening to the oddball dance beats and arrangement to the vocals (which actually doesn’t sound AT ALL like SAWA).  Actually she is throughout, but there’s clearly others involved.  The song is a bit off the wall for me though and just is a strange listen overall.

9. Tentai Kansoku Interlude

As the other interlude of the album, this 40 second lead-in is pretty electro and the beat is aggressive and just punches you in the face right up until it ends and fizzles out.  Short but it did leave me hoping for more.

10. Tentai Kansoku

While it doesn’t leave off where the interlude did, Tentai Kansoku is still quite hardcore compared to the rest of the album and the arrangement keeps a solid bright side but the lower synths give a kind of throwback to when Japanese electro was at its peak and I am impressed by it!  It’s a ride of a song and I’m glad SAWA still has it to do these kind of songs.

11. Nagareboshi

Ending off the mini, we get Nagareboshi and I had assumed it would’ve been a ballad (every other time this title was used, it was a ballad it felt like).  Anyways, unlike the previous track, Nagareboshi is a bit more 80s-inspired with nice synth riffs and a hoppy beat added.  It’s a nice sparkly tune to kind of close things out and feels a lot like the good stuff she used to release.

 

 

SAWA it seems is reaching her 10th anniversary as an artist and decided to release Kouki Aisare Stance to kick celebrations off!  I actually do think that this mini trumps “Odore Balcony” and “Ijippari Mermaid” by a big margin with quite a number of decent tracks here.  Of course there was a couple missteps, (YOU AND ME, Early Summer), but as a whole, it felt like a great technopop album this time around!

 

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