- nonfiction ~Akuma no Sumu Wakusei~
- Natsu Koi
- Sign of Suspicion
- Kaiten Mokuba
- Myuge no Hanataba wo, Kimi e
- dusty days
- SA*KU*RA Hakusho
Bonus CD Tracklist
- sign -KOTOKO Ver. Remix- (Tomoyuki Nakazawa Remix)
1. nonfiction ~Akuma no Sumu Wakusei~
Opening the album up, KOTOKO brings nonfiction as the first track and learning the album is entirely produced by Kazuya Takase (a familiar name to I’ve Sound fans), I have a feeling a lot of the album will be this deep electro sound. Of course I was right with the first track as the familiar sounds of Takase’s works can be heard here. It sounds similar to numerous tracks within KOTOKO’s discograhphy (actually pretty close to “SCREW” if anything). KOTOKO sounds more or less the same she’s as always been, but I always enjoy hearing her with this kind of arrangement so it definitely in the end worked out great and kicks things off on a good note!
2nd track in and we already get our longest track? Hibari does start off quite differently than I expected with angry guitarwork and almost a metal-like style before the tune changes pace to include synths and the tune turns more anison in style. I kind of would’ve preferred the former style and Hibari kind of becomes a mid-tempo track with spots of this aggressive rock sound in certain spots. Just a bit too long and it kind of drags past the halfway mark.
3. Natsu Koi
Back to more of the electronic stuff, but it does feel like it carries some of the same synths used in “Hibari” here as well, just taking out the guitars essentially. I’m liking the interesting melody and rhythms used in the verses of the track and while it’s pretty poppy, it’s kind of a decent track here. Maybe if it was a smidge faster in its BPM then it would’ve been a favorite, but it’s decent the way it sounds now.
Seems like our next track is back to the same mood and style that “nonfiction” had with the deep synth electro arrangement. Though this one definitely fits more of the cool and mysterious sound. There is an area where it does lighten up with piano, but the cool, cold sound returns pretty quickly. I have to say that so far, this is my favorite track off the album!
Not sure what to think about this song next because it’s got a more upbeat and poppy sound even moreso than “Natsu Koi”, almost playing to KOTOKO’s songs she’s done for “SHORT CIRCUIT” with a stronger anison influence and KOTOTO’s style of singing here is a bit more cutesy. I don’t know why, but this song just feels awkward to me and isn’t one that works with me.
6. Sign of Suspicion
So I only bolded this song because this has been released physically as far as I know on the I’ve Sound compilation album, “ALIVE”. So this song is very familiar to me and its inclusion of other songs like “TOUGH INTENTION” & “ZonE-iT” is kind of strange. This is definitely the most anison song I’ve come across yet on this album, but it has a certain vibe to it that feels nostalgic to me. I would say it’s decent of a song, definitely not as strong as “Onyx” but OK song.
So KOTOKO decided to I guess cover 2 of former singer, Ray’s songs on this album (if I recall, KOTOKO written the songs so it’s more like a self-cover? like the RO-KYU-BU! song she did off of her previous album, “Kuchuu Puzzle”). I never got to hear the original, but I assume it’s similar? I do like the ethereal glow of the song and it steadily grows a dance beat and it sounds happy and bright. It’s a nice track, stands out from the album in a cute way…yeah this is how you do a cute song…not “effacer”.
8. Kaiten Mokuba
I kind of like the piano/strings intro for our next track, but it’s shortlived as it’s quickly replaced trance synths and the familiar Takase arrangement. I think there’s a bit more quirks about the tune than just the standard sound, but in one way makes me think of a MELL song and the other has more originality behind how it works. I think it’s a bizarre song because of the transitions, but it keeps my interest intact throughout.
9. Myuge no Hanataba wo, Kimi e
Is this a ballad we’re dealing with? I guess as close to one as Takase can get on the album, but it’s the slowest track here and it feels like a mid-tempo anison track. Unlike the synths, there’s more natural instruments and the kind of pop/rock sound is a change of pace, but the tune is kind of bland and sticks out in a weird way for the album. Just not that intriguing of a song.
10. dusty days
At least we get somewhat of a proper pop/rock track with the next one, dusty days. While it might be the same levels as what “Light My Fire” was pulling off, this song was pretty decent and gave us a straightforward tune. Nothing too bad to say, but I’d say it was good, but nothing quite amazing…passable essentially.
11. SA*KU*RA Hakusho
I was not expecting the song to open up with KOTOKO under filters singing in English to open this track. Is it just me or does it remind me of something like a mix of “Onyx”, “Sign of Suspicion” and “a-gain” all kind of smushed together? It’s a nice track, but it does feel like it plays a little too safely and for that, doesn’t leave much of an impression on me besides being a cuter upbeat track.
As the album’s final song and was chosen to get a PV and promote the album, Kai-Ro-tation was more of what I kind of was expecting the album to mostly be. Though after listening through the entire album, I was actually happy to see this song which unlike many of the songs is more of the aggressive electro sound, but I’m loving that it’s more gritty than Takase’s other works. Yeah, this was an awesome song…surprised it was the final track, but definitely saved one of the bests for last.
1. sign -KOTOKO Ver. Remix- (Tomoyuki Nakazawa Remix)
Though for some reason, KOTOKO once again had a bonus track that contained a bonus track, this time another Ray cover, but it’s a remix as well (the only thing Takase didn’t have a hand on). Honestly, I’m not sure why this is a thing, but hey it’s whatever. I do like the arrangement as it feels almost video-game-ish but somewhat poppy too? It’s nice and whatnot, but seems odd to include for the album.
- nonfiction ~Akuma no Sumu Wakusei~
- Natsu Koi
Song of Avoidance
It seems like forever sine KOTOKO released an album, but here we are with tears cyclone -Kai-! A little surprised that the two singles released in between album were omitted with an entirely Takase-produced album and it has good and bad moments throughout, figured it’d happen when it’s one guy. There’s some variation to be found, but I felt most of the album was kind of like throwaway album tracks, nothing like the crazy stuff found on her last album. It’s OK I guess, but there’s better!