Kurayami Monogatari

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Hitomi Shimatani – misty January 20, 2019

Filed under: Hitomi Shimatani — solarblade @ 5:42 am

misty

Track Listing

  1. misty
  2. Vivace!
  3. Golden Lady
  4. gentle rain
  5. LOVE
  6. Cinderella
  7. fragile
  8. The Bright Side
  9. sabão

1. misty

As the introduction to the album, misty is just that, a short opening for the rest of the album.  I really do like the sound of this intro mixing piano with some interesting vibes (considering she’s calling the sound of the album, City Pop) I can totally see this intro as like a cityscape-like feeling in the night hours downtown.  It’s cool and a bit jazzy, making me curious to how it would’ve sounded as a full track…

2. Vivace!

So the ideals continue with the first vocal track and it begins on a rather upbeat note with a bouncing piano melody and jazzy tones all over from the brass and the rest of the instrumentation.  Hitomi’s vocals of course are very impressive and her control is just always a breath of fresh air!  There’s just a lot of energy here and it left a mark on me and really kicks the album off.

3. Golden Lady

As the only A-side released for the album, it was a long time waiting for a new single and she decided to come back with a funky song that was totally a change of pace from the singles that she released prior to her last album, “Honjitsu, Tonai, Bousho”.  I do like the funky bass arrangement and the brass throughout, but after hearing “Vivace!”, this actually sounds a bit weaker of a song to me.  Regardless, this was a worth comeback for Hitomi and fits on the album snuggly.

4. gentle rain

The sound of a thunderstorm opens up our next track and boy do I get strong 90’s vibes out of this ballad.  It just does remind of Mariah Carey’s music in that period, light R&B with some happier undertones thrown throughout the track.  I always seem to appreciate Hitomi’s vocals because it’s where she shines the strongest vocally.  I like it sort of, the song feels slightly outdated, but it’s nostalgic.

5. LOVE

It slows down further with this acoustic ballad, LOVE.  At least at first, I felt like LOVE was a bit too empty initially, but then the chorus comes in and we’re back to a similar 90’s vibe that “gentle rain” was putting out.  I do like Hitomi’s vocals once again and she just has a sweet and gentle tone to her voice that lulls me into what I could say is similar to Rie fu’s music in the past.  It’s calm and nice.

6. Cinderella

First think I thought of from our next track is Winter because of the synths, but the tune kind of shifts over back to the funky, slap beats that were heard in “Vivace!” and “Golden Lady”.  Though I would argue to say the steady beat is giving this track more of a dance-pop kind of groove and I found myself enjoying it.  Best way I can describe it is that it’s like Mika Nakashima’s “FOCUS” and I LOVE that song so it’s easy to tell that I also ended up loving this track too!  A surprising track indeed!

7. fragile

I think the track that left me a little bit zoned out, fragile seems to be even more poppier than the rest of the album and for some reason there’s just not a lot for me here.  I mean, Hitomi sounds cute and nothing wrong on her end, it’s just the song itself just doesn’t lend itself much in the way of an impression.

8. The Bright Side

Interesting piano opening for The Bright Side, but this song is very odd to me since it’s poppy, but unlike “fragile”, there sounds like a lot more effort put here and the vocal layering in the verses is pretty cool and the synth pops are also just off the wall, but sounded pretty cool overall!  Another song that reminds me of another artist (this time BONNIE PINK), The Bright Side is another cool track on the album that luckily suits this album!

9. sabão

Ending the album, we have the B-side from “Golden Lady” and had me curious to why it was chosen as the ending, but then again if it was at the front it would sound way too similar to both its sister A-side and “Vivace!” as this song also has a jazzy/funk vibe to it.  Since the single, this song on misty is still an odd ending choice, but at least it ends on an upbeat note I suppose.

Tracks Recommended

  • Cinderella
  • Vivace!
  • The Bright Side
  • sabão

Song of Avoidance

  • fragile

Wow, wasn’t expecting a new Shimatani album to drop!  With the idea of City Pop as the theme for the album, I would say she accomplished it well, maybe not too perfectly, but I did feel like there wasn’t many bummer songs here versus her last album, but at the same time, this was a SHORT album.  8 songs (not counting the intro) is just a bit slim to me.  misty is OK, still miss her days as a dance-pop artist, but this’ll do!

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