Kurayami Monogatari

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LM.C – PERFECT RAINBOW July 7, 2018

Filed under: LM.C — solarblade @ 4:42 pm

perfectrainbow

Track Listing

  1. VantaBLACK
  2. JUST LIKE THIS!!
  3. MOGURA
  4. Amnizia
  5. Minor Leaguers’ Song
  6. LADY TALK
  7. Kimi yo Saraba
  8. Brand New Rainbow

1. VantaBLACK

Opening the mini-album up, VantaBLACK is the short intro here and it starts quietly and grows into this interesting mix of piano and some other small electronic blips and grooves.  It’s a darker intro than I expected from LM.C, but I do enjoy how it turns into this EDM-like track in the later half.  Cool way to open up the mini!

2. JUST LIKE THIS!!

Moving into the first vocal track, I wasn’t expecting maya to sing in English after the introduction.  The quiet piano intro is cute and very new for the duo, but after that passage is over, the song opens up into this dance beat with Aiji of course bringing his guitar licks.  I do feel like the song is lacking something here though (maybe a bit more energy?).  Either way, the song kind of brings a cooler LM.C and overall it’s not a bad start!

3. MOGURA

I guess that energy was placed into our next track, MOGURA which features Aiji in a more heavier light alongside an aggressive arrangement!  It was what I was expecting from the duo and this was what I was looking for coming into this album and they delivered in spades.  It’s a pretty strong song and I love the hooks and speedy execution from maya!  Awesome rock track!

4. Amnizia

Moving into the next track, Amnizia kind of takes up as the middle sounding tune between the previous two tracks with a slower tempo, but a stronger arrangement.  Definitely enjoyed the punkish sound out of this and the hooks again are what keeps me around for the song!  Not quite as awesome as “MOGURA” but a song I can jam out to nonetheless!

5. Minor Leaguers’ Song

Of the 7 tracks, I was mostly curious about this oddly titled track and I kind of the boom-boom-clap of the track and to me it feels like a song that the crowd would chant alongside with because it has that rhythm, but on the mini, it does stick out like a sore thumb, bring more fun and random (though they do do that a lot >.>).  It’s just an odd song for me, maybe if it were on a full album it would be ok, but otherwise eh?

6. LADY TALK

Though I wasn’t expecting LM.C to channel some 80’s synth and punk for LADY TALK and after “Minor Leaguers’ Song”, this was a nice refreshing change of pace!  Yeah, the tune does find itself shifting moods (and the chorus switches synth with piano).  It’s pretty light versus many of their previous releases, but there’s something nice about this track too!  It just might be my favorite of the mini!

7. Kimi yo Saraba

Y’know, I don’t recall LM.C really taking things lighter than before but Kimi yo Saraba slows it down a bit moreso than “LADY TALK” did.  It does feature Aiji moreso, but the tune comes off as a mid-tempo rock ballad with some speckles of synths behind it all.  The song itself isn’t bad, but I don’t quite remember it afterwards.

8. Brand New Rainbow

As the final track on the mini, I wasn’t expecting the cute intro, but the song really moves forward once the duo come in and the growing energy of the song keeps intrigued!  Though, the chorus kind of feels anticlimactic and it feels somewhat jarring in comparison to the verses here (maybe there’s a little too much percussion).  It’s an alright song to close things off but not their best.

 

 

For being part of this “PERFECT” duo of releases, PERFECT RAINBOW doesn’t quite do a better job than it’s sister mini, “PERFECT FANTASY” did.  Not as many awesome songs as I would’ve hoped to see and there’s some strange songs on this one that prevented me from liking it more than I should.  Still, LADY TALK and MOGURA were the big ones here so I’d recommend those!

 

moumoon – Flyways

Filed under: moumoon — solarblade @ 6:15 am

flyways

Track Listing

  1. Flyways
  2. Serendipitous
  3. Triangle
  4. BIG FISH
  5. Koe
  6. Let it shine
  7. Circulation
  8. Yasashii Yami
  9. Reflection
  10. Hana Saku Basho
  11. Heart
  12. Hikari no Kage

1. Flyways

As the title track to open the album, Flyways feels like a nice organic first track with a nice acoustic-based sound with some bass and YUKA’s pleasant vocals that fly throughout the track.  I always seem to appreciate her singing in English a lot more than she did before (kind of reminds me of BONNIE PINK in a way).  Solid song to open the album!

2. Serendipitous

More of the same continues with Serendipitous but the song is a bit more alive and active in a way?  The arrangement keeps the acoustic guitar for the most part and the bass isn’t quite in the forefront as it is in “Flyways”.  Not quite sure if I like YUKA’s higher range in this one.  Does remind me of something back in their early days, but not quite sure.

3. Triangle

At least it feels like there’s a different sound for our next track.  The tune feels a bit more busier with some other instrumentation filling the holes of the song and I welcome the slight tribal-like instrument in the background with piano at the front.  Still not quite an energetic track for me, but at least its a shift after the previous two tracks.

4. BIG FISH

Not surprised that the only CAPS song is also the longest track off the album (over 6 minutes), BIG FISH seems to pull us back into the breezy acoustic pop sound.  YUKA of course is also singing in a higher register and alongside this dream-like state of a song, it’s kind of relaxing in a way, but that said, 6 minutes of a song like this might be stretching it too far and for me it kind of makes me lose focus.  Just went a little too long for me.

5. Koe

Slowing down, Koe seems to be a ballad for the album and right from the start YUKA opens with a nice English line with some piano.  Koe though kind of stays in the same place for its entirety, though there’s some sprinkling of some other instruments (and bass).  I do like how it grows into a bigger song and it’s like they kept the dreamscape vibe that “BIG FISH” was doing but the song is more easier to digest.  Better, but still makes me a bit sleepy.

6. Let it shine

As one of two digital singles moumoon released back in 2017, Let it shine slows things down even more by giving us a straight up piano ballad.  Well, as I thought, like “Koe” does grow into more of a piano/strings/synth ballad towards the end.  You can easily tell, the later half pleases me more than anything else, but damn the first half was just sleep-inducing.  YUKA though sounds great (she has been so far all on this album, to be honest).

7. Circulation

Oh hey, is this where we might get some fun?  Circulation is the first track on the album I heard a constant thumping beat with Masaki chiming in singing along with YUKA.  Though not quite the level that “cocoon” brought with its EDM-ish feel, it’s like a light EDM that fuses up with the light acoustic pop sound moumoon is striving for with this album.  Not bad, but so far…it may be the best the album is offering.

8. Yasashii Yami

Even more slight experimenting with Yasashii Yami with a smidge more focus on synths and beats here.  The tone of the song remains light and flowing like the album has been, but the interesting synthwork caught me by surprise.  The synth melody doesn’t budge through the song which can become repetitive, but I feel YUKA’s soft vocals keeps you going.  It’s unique, but I feel like it doesn’t quite live up to some of the standards moumoon has put up.

9. Reflection

Why does Reflection at the start remind me of “I’m Scarlet” with the acoustic melody?  Anyways, this track definitely has this night time charm about it (like “moonlight”, but not as romantically tied).  I kind of liked this though and YUKA’s vocals just once again makes me happy to hear, but this time its to an arrangement that I liked on the album!

10. Hana Saku Basho

Unfortunately things don’t quite bode quite as well with Hana Saku Basho which is straight up a piano/strings ballad with not too much to keep it above water for me.  It’s just painfully plain and typical sounding to me and even YUKA has a little vocal filtering, but not enough to do much.  It’s just a blah song.  Though I’m surprised it was a digital single released with “Hikari no Kage”…

11. Heart

At least moumoon has a cutesy song to throw on the album.  Not quite sure what it’s all about but the bouncy, repetitive nature of the song is interesting at first, but then the song is still within the lines of the piano-heavy arrangement.  YUKA sounds playful and cute though and whatnot, but it’s such an odd song to put towards the album…

12. Hikari no Kage

Closing the album, the oldest song (released digitally last year), Hikari no Kage starts off quietly with YUKA and strings and it just builds as the song goes on.  Though it makes for a good closing, the song itself just kind of wraps the album up in once more without much of the song sticking to me.

Tracks Recommended

  • Circulation
  • Yasashii Yami
  • Flyways

Song of Avoidance

  • Hana Saku Basho

If there was one word to describe the album, it’s that it’s boring.  Like the first half was reminding me of their early works, but the 2nd half was a little more experimental, but altogether, it lacks the energy of their last couple of albums, I mean there wasn’t a bop to be found or a song that has that emotional boom like what I was expecting moumoon to have, but Flyways was just one soundscapey borefest to me.  It might be my least favorite album from them yet x.x

 

UVERworld – TYCOON

Filed under: UVERworld — solarblade @ 5:19 am

tycoon

Track Listing

  1. TYCOON
  2. Q.E.D.
  3. Serious
  4. SHOUT LOVE
  5. IDEAL REALITY
  6. LONE WOLF
  7. DECIDED (Album ver.)
  8. PRAYING RUN
  9. ALL ALONE (Album ver.)
  10. Itteki no Eikyou (Album ver.)
  11. Honoo Sukoshi
  12. Boku no Kotoba de wa nai Kore wa Bokutachi no Kotoba (Album ver.)
  13. WE ARE GO (Album ver.)
  14. Collide
  15. Sou Zeniki
  16. I LOVE THE WORLD
  17. Emu
  18. Shuuen

1. TYCOON

Opening the album up, the title track TYCOON sounds pretty experimental for an intro with a darker and mysterious sound, but then it switches into this cool dance beat with some cool sawtooth synths and some screaming (I doubt that’s TAKUYA, but hey…).  Unique introduction though!

2. Q.E.D.

The song sort of flows into our first vocal track of the album and TAKUYA’s loud and strong vocals enter in with a pretty neat rockin’ arrangement that kind of goes between being hard, but also a smidge sing-along with the acoustic parts into a pretty powerful chorus to round it out.  I dug it a lot, even when Seika comes in with a brief sax part before TAKUYA gets in with a pseudo rap.  It’s a song that has many parts to it, but I kind of liked it~.

3. Serious

It doesn’t feel like too many change going into our next track at first as the sound almost felt like “Q.E.D.”, but after TAKUYA’s intro, the piano enters the song and the tune kind of goes in between those sounds.  I will say the one thing that stands out about this one are the small passages of pure jazz in the small breaks, but otherwise, it’s a pretty straightforward song and wasn’t a bad listen.

4. SHOUT LOVE

I almost thought the next track was going to be like a crowd screaming song, but SHOUT LOVE starts off quite a bit more mellow than I expected with a little bit of synths and acoustic guitar.  I’m not sure where it stands as it feels like a mid-tempo ballad, but the band makes things loud and aggressive enough to not quite fit the style.  TAKUYA does sound like he’s slightly straining his voice for this one so it’s not a favorite sadly.

5. IDEAL REALITY

I already started digging the funky vibes from the intro of IDEAL REALITY with the saxophones and bass playing around while TAKUYA is rapping in between the melodies.  It’s definitely different enough to stand out on the album away from the rock songs that filter out and I thought it was an impressive switch (even if the tune later on does bring back the remainder of the band).  Definitely an early favorite on the album!

6. LONE WOLF

Wow, an almost 6 minute track up next!  I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the tune is quite stripped down and includes a lot of acoustic guitar and strings and a rather pretty emotional performance out of TAKUYA who sounds a LOT better than he did in “SHOUT LOVE” at the least.  I thought the song was going to be a harder song, but unfortunately because of that, LONE WOLF does feel that it drags on a smidge too long without really hitting it big.

7. DECIDED (Album ver.)

I’m surprised that all the A-sides (except “I LOVE THE WORLD”) were all given edits on the album, especially this one because it came out a couple weeks before the album did so it’s just odd to me.  I’m not quite sure what changed about DECIDED though as they both sound the same to me, but there could’ve been some small edit (or the arrangement got updated?).  Either way, the song is still pretty awesome and TAKUYA gave a pretty explosive performance that makes some of their older power tracks so damn good!

8. PRAYING RUN

It feels like it’s been forever since I listened to PRAYING RUN (a B-side from “I LOVE THE WORLD”).  As the album’s longest track at over 6 minutes, I still am not quite a BIG fan of TAKUYA’s breathing in the opening, but after that, the tune brings us to more of an experimental track that has their acoustic/hip-hop groove to synth usage and hard rock all wrapped in one package.  It’s an interesting song, but it feels as long as it really is…

9. ALL ALONE (Album ver.)

As part of the 3rd single released in the era, ALL ALONE’s changes are a bit more easier to tell here!  With a different ending (instead of only piano, it’s this time alongside acoustic guitar) and some minor additions throughout the song and a shorter time (by a couple seconds) ALL ALONE is still kind of an odd one for me amongst the A-sides.  It’s a lighter affair like “LONE WOLF” but this song was the better one of the single it came from even if I don’t think too much of it on the album.

10. Itteki no Eikyou (Album ver.)

As one of the more least likened songs released for the TYCOON era, Itteki no Eikyou was to me just your normal UVERworld song with the anison tones and heavy rock vibes.  The album version seemed to be mostly the same but with more saxophone and the ending was shortened (with the acoustic guitar).  Otherwise it’s the same song still.  I guess it has slightly grown on me because of the album needing a little nod to their anison stuff, but it’s still not up there with the bests.

11. Honoo Sukoshi

Taking a break from the already released songs, we get back into a new track with Honoo Sukoshi.  I was pleasantly surprised the tune begun with some repeating bass synths and this ethereal background as well.  For some reason, once the chorus kicks in, I get this Western-kind of feeling from it beyond TAKUYA’s howling vocals.  It’s a pretty interesting song, especially for one being mid-tempo.

12. Boku no Kotoba de wa nai Kore wa Bokutachi no Kotoba (Album ver.)

As the first A-side released for the album, I had to go back to the original and take a quick listen, but I do still quite like this one.  The album cut is a bit longer and with an updated ending as well.  Still, after hearing the other “album edits”, I’m wondering why they even did it when they’re only small minor things.  Either way, this song still sounds great and the experimentation did wonders for this song!  Like I said in the single review, I still think this is the softest you’ll be hearing TAKUYA on this album!

13. WE ARE GO (Album ver.)

Though as my least liked A-side of the era, WE ARE GO feels super loud and just feels like a song used for concerts.  The difference really comes only in the beginning as the album version omitted the TAKUYA-only intro.  The song though to me is just the same thing and I’m still not quite the biggest fan of this.  It’s loud and in your face and it kind of grates on me after a while.

14. Collide

At least they didn’t touch this B-side from “Boku no Kotoba de wa nai Kore wa Bokutachi no Kotoba” because this song was just as good as the A-side if not moreso!  It’s definitely going back to some pretty hardcore stuff with the arrangement on top of adding Seika’s sax melody and the bits of synth throughout!  It just did a great job of waking me up after “WE ARE GO” and TAKUYA sounds amazing through this track, I’m so happy they included this track!!

15. Sou Zeniki

Back to another new track, Sou Zeniki continues this burst of energy, but the song has a lot more synths throughout and TAKUYA is singing in a slightly higher pitch like in “SHOUT LOVE”, but there’s something that’s fitting here.  Yeah, this feels like a more experimental “Collide” but with more synths and sax in the arrangement, yeah this is pretty cool!

16. I LOVE THE WORLD

I’m so surprised that somehow I LOVE THE WORLD didn’t get changed up for the album, but that’s just fine because it was my favorite amongst the 5 singles released!  This one definitely gives me those “GO-ON” & “GOLD” vibes with the awesome even mixture of rock and synths.  Though I will say it leans a bit more on the synthy side of things.  I just love the craziness of the song and being in this string of badass songs (“Collide”, “Sou Zeniki” and “Emu”) is just perfect!

17. Emu

As the B-side from “Itteki no Eikyou”, Emu is on the other side of the coin compared to “I LOVE THE WORLD” by having a louder rockin’ arrangement and punch with the lines given by TAKUYA & that female singer that comes in the choruses.  Just an awesome track and powerful B-side and like “Collide” excited to see making the album cut!

18. Shuuen

As the album’s final track, Shuuen slows things to another mellow rock track but appropriate due to its placement on the album!  Though beyond that, by itself, Shuuen isn’t quite a memorable track for me due to its swaying rhythm and just slower singing.  I just think after the long strings of powerful songs, Shuuen just halts it for the ending and like I said, makes sense, but not memorable.

Tracks Recommended

  • Collide
  • I LOVE THE WORLD
  • IDEAL REALITY
  • DECIDED (Album ver.)
  • Sou Zeniki

Song of Avoidance

  • WE ARE GO (Album ver.)

UVERworld after “Ø CHOIR” took quite a while getting this album out and from the output of TYCOON, it’s not quite as good unfortunately.  A lot of the new tracks were kind of in the middle with two exceptions in Sou Zeniki  & IDEAL REALITY, but I think the album relied a lot on the singles released.  Which on that topic, I don’t think any of the songs needed to be edited any and didn’t make sense why they did.  It’s an OK album though and there’s some great tunes to be found, but their last album was just that good!