Kurayami Monogatari

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NCT 127 – WE ARE SUPERHUMAN May 25, 2019

Filed under: NCT — solarblade @ 3:58 am

wearesuperhuman

Track Listing

  1. Highway To Heaven
  2. Superhuman
  3. FOOL
  4. Jet Lag
  5. Paper Plane
  6. OUTRO: WE ARE 127

1. Highway To Heaven

Opening the mini-album up, Highway To Heaven was kind of the preview before “Superhuman’s” PV came out and boy was I surprised to hear how different it sounded compared to all of their previous main tracks being a little more tame and straight EDM (kind of like “Replay” from their last album).  I instantly found myself into the song with the smooth feel and the strong vocals from Haechan, Taeil, Jaehyun, Jungwoo, and Doyoung (with bits from Johnny and Yuta too).  I think the only thing that threw me off was the rap from Taeyong & Mark though it is short regardless.  Still, what a cool song to open things with.

2. Superhuman

Though we move into the main course with Superhuman and likewise, it was something a bit more different than the hip-hop-esque sound we’ve been hearing from them the last couple of years.  The track is a bit more futuristic sounding and yet somewhat a but more livelier sounding.  It’s definitely a track that really encircles around the vocalists more and pushes back the rappers back (Johnny also seemed to join Mark and Taeyong in the rapping as well)  I really dug it though and a good change of pace after the likes of “Simon Says”, “Chain”, and “Wakey-Wakey”.

3. FOOL

Moving to the rest of the album, FOOL changes up by giving me some 90’s R&B here and it starts with raps from Mark, Jaehyun, and Taeyong before the song slightly opens to the chorus which feels light and minimalistic with not a lot of bass behind it.  I’m really liking the fact that there’s some lengthy solos for everyone in the song here.  I think the song may be a little too laidback and missing a backbone here, but it’s decent overall!

4. Jet Lag

The mini slows down further for Jet Lag, which seems to be the ballad here.  Simple piano melody and some Jungwoo, Jaehyun, and Haechan before the chorus hits with Taeil and just like “FOOL” they seem to aim for simplicity and not a lot of beats until Yuta comes in for the 2nd verse and then Jet Lag starts to gain some oomph but still gives me similar vibes to the aforementioned track, but handled a bit better.  Yeah, not bad here either, a small step above the previous track.

5. Paper Plane

Ending the mini off, Paper Plane is giving me some “Switch” vibes with the kind of playful cuteness here and I’m surprised the tune starts with Jaehyun, Johnny and Taeyong of all people singing and NOT rapping here whoa!  At least the song does somewhat gain some legs with the chorus section adding a dance beat, but it feels a bit weird?  It seems like a GAP commercial song (ironic since “Touch” exists).  I do like the EDM breakdown…but it just feels slightly filler here.  Still gotta appreciate all 9 members singing here!

6. OUTRO: WE ARE 127

Then we end with an outro piece that starts off light before we here Taeyong & Mark and then the song shifts into this low EDM beat that sounds pretty cool before it even outs while there’s random members throwing some lines before it kicks with dubstep and then some rough beats.  Don’t know why it was the outro because it surely didn’t work after “Paper Plane”.  Dunno, could’ve had been a song honestly…

 

 

Only about a month after their Japanese album, “Awaken” was released we get a mini-album from them in Korean and I’m not sure where I stand on this.  I feel like the buildup from both Highway To Heaven and Superhuman was awesome, but the remainder of the album felt lukewarm to me.  There was an obvious split of effort here and the fact that this mini wasn’t really like their previous minis, “NCT 127″, Limitless” or even “Cherry Bomb” was surprising.  I liked the first two tracks a LOT but the remaining 3 songs left me shrugging despite great vocals and the outro was just random.  Hmmmm….

 

Juice=Juice – “Hitori de Ikirare Sou” tte Sore tte Nee, Homete Iru no?/25sai Eien Setsu

Filed under: Juice=Juice — solarblade @ 1:16 am

hitorideikiraresou

Track Listing

  1. “Hitori de Ikirare Sou” tte Sore tte Nee, Homete Iru no?
  2. 25sai Eien Setsu
  3. “Hitori de Ikirare Sou” tte Sore tte Nee, Homete Iru no? (New Vocal Ver.) (Regular C only)
  4. “Hitori de Ikirare Sou” tte Sore tte Nee, Homete Iru no? (Instrumental)
  5. 25sai Eien Setsu (Instrumental)

1. “Hitori de Ikirare Sou” tte Sore tte Nee, Homete Iru no?

Long title aside, Karin opens the main A-side in a pretty strong way into a fusion of pop & rock.  I kind of found myself enjoying a good portion of the song despite the verses feeling slightly mechanical here to me.  Though once I come into the prechorus, things get much better and I’m surprised by the vocals here and that all the members sound really good singing in a lower range especially members like Tomoko, Ruru, and Manaka!  Of course the other members sound really good (slightly surprised at how little of Yuka there was compared to all the members).  Honestly, it’s a good song from them, I’ll give it that.

2. 25sai Eien Setsu

The other A-side was used as Yuka’s goodbye song (which could explain why there’s little of her to be found in the previous track).  While not as upbeat as Yanamin’s goodbye song, it’s just as sentimental and poppy as it.  Though I can’t help but feel like it’s somewhat formulaic and familiar to other H!P songs too.  Not quite as intriguing at the other A-side, but it did its job at the end of the day and sent Yuka off on a nice note, plus the fact she’s the only one with solos is great!

3. “Hitori de Ikirare Sou” tte Sore tte Nee, Homete Iru no? (New Vocal Ver.)

A couple months later, the single would find itself rereleased with a new version of the primary A-side.  If the tag hasn’t keyed you into what it’s about, the tune has new vocals from the new members added Yume Kudo & Riai Matsunaga, but it also meant it has no Yuka Miyazaki (who had graduated already).  The song remains the same with its arrangement, but with the vocals moved around there’s some surprising things like Ruru opening the song instead of Karin and the fact the new members REALLY felt worked into the group as they sound really nice.  Not a big edit overall and I question why this happened, but it’s decent.

 

 

I don’t know why but I felt this single was missing something to it (maybe “Borderline” perhaps?).  The single coming only under 4 months after their previous single (which also was a graduating single) comparatively felt much weaker than I thought.  While I don’t think “Hitori de Ikirare Sou” tte Sore tte Nee, Homete Iru no? is a bad song, it feels kind of like an album track and 25sai Eien Setsu was cute but definitely leave much of an impression behind despite being the last track to include original member, Yuka Miyazaki.  I don’t know, it’s just a middle-of-the-road kind of single for me.

With the re-release, I question why UFP decided to debut Yume and Riai under the song because it only shuffled up the lines around, but it does still sound good regardless. Still, I can’t help but feel a little confused by the need to bring this single back.

 

ANGERME – Rinnetenshou ~ANGERME Past, Present, and Future~ May 17, 2019

Filed under: S/mileage — solarblade @ 4:35 am

Rinnetenshou

Track Listing

  1. I Musou Strong!
  2. Akai Earphone
  3. Tade Kuu Mushi mo Like it!
  4. Yumemita 15nen
  5. Flag wo Bukkowase!
  6. Koi wa Accha Accha
  7. Kaeritakunai na.
  8. Itoshi Itoshi to Say My Heart
  9. Mou Ippou
  10. Jinsei, Sunawachi Panta Rhei
  11. Kagami no Kuni no Hinekure Queen
  12. Konya mo Suteki ni Ochitsukenai
  13. Natsu Shogun
  14. Watashi no Yumemita 15nen
  15. 46-okunen LOVE

CD2

  1. Tsugitsugi Zokuzoku
  2. Itoshima Distance
  3. Koi Nara Tokku ni Hajimatteru
  4. Umaku Ienai
  5. Ai no Tame Kyou Made Shinkashite Kita Ningen Ai no Tame Subete Taikashite Kita Ningen
  6. Wasurete Ageru
  7. Ai Sae Areba Nanni mo Iranai
  8. Namida Iro no Ketsui
  9. Majokko Megu-chan
  10. Manner Mode
  11. Kisoku Tadashiku Utsukushiku
  12. Kimi Dake ja nai sa…friends
  13. Nakenai ze…Kyoukan Sagi
  14. Uraha=Lover
  15. Kimi Dake ja nai sa…friends (2018 Acoustic Ver.)

CD3

  1. Taikibansei
  2. Otome no Gyakushuu
  3. Nana Korobi Ya Oki
  4. Gashinshoutan
  5. Mahou Tsukai Sally
  6. Desugita Kui wa Utarenai
  7. Dondengaeshi
  8. Watashi
  9. Namida wa Chou ni Kawaru
  10. Kakugoshite!
  11. Marionette 37°C
  12. Asekaite Carnival
  13. Kousaten
  14. Tomo yo

1. I Musou Strong!

Opening the main course of this release, I am finally able to exhale and say FINALLY we’ve got the studio cut of this song which was in this weird limbo for like 2 years where the only time we’d hear it is in live performances!  I’ve loved the song since when it was performed because it was energetic and has a heavier sound than previous.  With the studio cut, the song feels even fuller and cooler…but it doesn’t seem like there’s solos well until near the final chorus (Rikako and Murotan) (closest is duets lines).  Awesome way to open the album up!

2. Akai Earphone

A more recent performed track, Akai Earphone was a surprise because this is a pretty hardcore EDM track for the group even moreso than stuff like “Nakenai ze…Kyoukan Sagi” & “Tsugutsugi Zokuzoku”.  It’s a pretty powerful song for them and I really enjoy that most of the members get a solo here (except Haruka for some reason?)  Regardless, Akai Earphone is definitely a high caliber song for them and I kind of wish it got a PV to promote the album honestly.

3. Tade Kuu Mushi mo Like it!

Of course, I’m not totally surprised that the first disc would included their more recent A-sides within the last year.  Though I have to say this song I had to relisten because I forgot how it went since the single review.  To me it feels like a mix of “Gashinshoutan” and “46-okunen LOVE”.  I don’t know why but the song didn’t resonate for me besides Funakki’s big solo line and the bopping bridge.  Otherwise, the song kind of flew by me

4. Yumemita 15nen

Which isn’t helped that it’s followed by this song (the secondary A-side of the most recent single they’ve released) and of course it was kind of primed to be the goodbye song to Ayacho (who is graduating next month).  This song is a bit of a not to the group’s major label debut, “Yumemiru 15sai” so the title was cute, but the song is more somber and lighter in style.  Personally despite the meaning of the song, I really couldn’t care about this song

5. Flag wo Bukkowase!

Of course the album would have smaller groupings of members (3 + a solo to be exact), this first one only has Takechan, Murotan, and new members Oota and Ise and I was pretty curious to how this would turnout because we’ve had really little time with the members.  I really do like the kind of Classic Rock vibes I get with this and appreciate the amount of Takechan and Murotan here because both their vocals work in this setting.  As for Haruka & Reira (Layla?) I feel like the latter probably had a better time as she sounds stronger and her lower tone fits alongside the elder members.  Haruka sounds OK, but she has time to grow as well.  Not bad here and I’m happy those two got quite a push here.!

6. Koi wa Accha Accha

Hopping back to their last main A-side, Koi wa Accha Accha was kind of a popular song with a funky dance and a strong Indian vibe to it.  I mean, it was the debut of the two new girls and I was surprised that Reira had such a cool tone in her voice while Haruka is super adorable with her line.  It has just the right amount of fun and sassiness that really caught my attention and that chorus is SUPER catchy!  Definitely my favorite of the A-sides released on this disc.

7. Kaeritakunai na.

Seems like we finally get a decent string of new tracks next.  It seems that Kaeritakunai na. was done by Tsunku and maybe isn’t ironic that the tune is more of a slow burner for me because it kind of gives me vibes of Momusu’s “Be Alive” because it’s a ballad in the beginning but it grows into this mid-tempo dance track.  I’m kind of in the middle but it does remind me more of like “ENDLESS SKY” with the beats and upbeat melody.

8. Itoshi Itoshi to Say My Heart

Next track up, Itoshi Itoshi to Say My Heart takes the page of some similar disco/funk tracks in H!P and I’m OK with this especially there’s a lot of solos in this one and the ladies have this snap and attitude that seems to works a lot!  I’m also loving the pop of the track and I think I hear everyone with a solo, including new members too, though I heard a lot of Kawamuu oddly.  This is just a good song to listen to overall and that’s a good sign!

9. Mou Ippou

Another song that was performed in lives recently, Mou Ippou is an interesting song right from the start because I’m not quite sure what genre its supposed to be under because it’s synthy but has loud percussion and some funky guitar riffs.  I think it sounds unique to ANGERME and wakes the crowds up because of how in your face it is.  Not bad, not bad.

10. Jinsei, Sunawachi Panta Rhei

What an interesting title here, Ayacho opens the next track with a spoken dialogue into another song a little like “Itoshi Itoshi to Say My Heart” but I feel like it has a little more going on in the song with the vocals and the transitions in various parts of the song but still in that disco/funk style.  Like I’m not quite sure about it makes it more memorable exactly but this was a nice track!

11. Kagami no Kuni no Hinekure Queen

Back to smaller groupings, the next track only features Kanana, Kamiko, Kassa, and Kawamuu for this one.  Really wasn’t sure how’d this one go because these are the members that are more mid-level vocalists.  Though from the song’s quirky arrangement, it’s a bit more cute and silly and I kind of like all 4 in the track.  Of course Moe would sounds the best with Kana behind her whereas Momona & Ayano were the cutesy vocals.  It’s pretty good for what it is that’s for sure.

12. Konya mo Suteki ni Ochitsukenai

Then there’s this track which is only sung by Rikako, Rina, and Musubu!  Not sure what I was getting into this one either, but it seems to be more like the previous track with somewhat of a cute vibe but this one has some low hits.  I was just happy to see these 3 together because I enjoy hearing their vocals.  While the song itself is a bit too busy, I think vocally it was on point so I guess it passes.

13. Natsu Shogun

Kind of surprised to see this track on the 1st disc, but I suppose it makes sense?  I will say this 2018 digital single is a bit of a surprise to me, but I think I’ve slightly gotten used to it despite being ANGERME’s “Samba! Kobushi Janeiro” which what is the party atmosphere and just overall energetic performance.  Not bad nowadays, but it’s still a song I don’t think too much on from them.

14. Watashi no Yumemita 15nen

Wait, why is this titled just slightly different?  Well it’s because it’s Ayacho’s solo track but kind of a lazy one at that being a more stripped down take of the A-side.  Yeah, the melody of the lyrics sung is different but it is the same lyrics (well I think so).  Honestly though, I do like that Ayacho sounds nice (and Nyon is backup vocals) but like it made me bore of the song even further because it’s essentially “Yumemita 15nen” redone in a slight way.

15. 46-okunen LOVE

Not quite sure why this was chosen as the ending track, primarily due to the previous track is kind of like Ayacho’s goodbye and then we’re led into this A-side which is upbeat and disco-heavy.  I mean I really dig the song still and the energy is just fresh and just what I needed from ANGERME last year.  It’s so upbeat and catchy and I do appreciate it but maybe it could’ve been the track before but that’s me.

CD 2

1. Tsugitsugi Zokuzoku

So I find it weird that the 2nd and 3rd disc are the best discs, but they’re chronologically out of place (honestly I would’ve made the two vice versa so it’d make sense better).  Anyways, Tsugitsugi Zokuzoku kicks things off in a pretty hype way!  Being the debut for Moe and the last for Meimi, it was a hodge-podge of happenings!  I have to say, this song is just cool and really pushes this edgier feel for ANGERME during this period and I’m loving it!  From the rapping from Kanana, Rinapuu, and Meimi to Moe having some shine and just a lot of good points from everyone else…yeah, this song is a great way to kick off the 2nd disc!

2. Itoshima Distance

It’s funny coming back to this because, the only thing I remember about the song was the PV due to Maho’s giant jester hat that kind of stuck out like a sore thumb there.  Listening to the song again, Itoshima Distance was a surprisingly subtle song with the inclusion of a latin-like atmosphere from the acoustics and saxophone.  I will also comment that it’s been a while since I heard Maho sing.  I also like the focus on the 3rd Generation here.  Decent song though listening to this again!

3. Koi Nara Tokku ni Hajimatteru

Like I said two songs ago, this was also Meimi’s last single with the group and this track was focused heavily around her.  I wasn’t expecting the song to be slightly more rock-tinged in comparison to the previous two tracks, but I appreciate the variety the single brought.  Though I do think it is the weakest from the single just because it felt like something that has been done before.  Honestly, it was kind of a lukewarm goodbye to one of the strongest singers to kind of happen in H!P and ANGERME.

4. Umaku Ienai

So after Meimi graduated we entered their next single which had the SAME happenings where we had a new member join, Momona Kasahara and was the last single for Maho Aikawa (who while was technically still in ANGERME for the next two singles, she was on hiatus until she left the group at the end of 2017).  Already, I’m liking the pop/rock/funk vibes I get from this and everyone gets a nice amount of lines through.  Though I will say, I’m still confused on the bridge as it just sounds like an entirely different song.  Regardless, love this song!!!

5. Ai no Tame Kyou Made Shinkashite Kita Ningen Ai no Tame Subete Taikashite Kita Ningen

Wow, this song was just ridiculously named and pretty long too!  This one actually was kind of used primarily to introduce Kassa to the group!  Seeing as this was the EDM-centric song off the single, Ai no Tame… is pretty robotic and cold which was something unique at the time for ANGERME.  Also, I loved hearing lots of Rinapuu, Takechan, and Murotan, and Kamiko was neat with a nice solo from Ayacho before the final chorus was awesome too!  Awesome song!

6. Wasurete Ageru

The single rounded out with what I would call a Emo-musume song (basically dance beats and strings together).  I do love the slight sitar usage and the vocals are really nice here especially since once again everyone gets a decent line (probably the best place to hear Momona, Rinapuu, and Maho from the single).  It’s just a nostalgic trip of a song and maybe underappreciated in their discography!

7. Ai Sae Areba Nanni mo Iranai

I hate saying this, but I felt this single was just a TOTAL blur to me, it feels like this single was just an odd single to me, not from the hiatus that Aiai was in, just that it felt slightly rushed?  The first song up was the EDM-centric track off the single, but this felt like a 2011/2012 song due to the song feel like multiple separate songs stitched together to try to make a song together.  I suppose it’s alright, but it’s not a memorable A-side for me!

8. Namida Iro no Ketsui

While I’m not entirely sure if the song was towards Maho’s absence, there was some subtle hints throughout.  I think the fact that it was also a ballad kind of illicit those kind of emotions.  I mean as you all know, ballads aren’t exactly my forte, but I thought this one was pretty sweet and not quite the bore that I had thought it was once was.  Plus I can appreciate a lot of the vocals were between Murotan, Rikako, and Kamiko.  It’s simple, but effective and I liked that a lot, but like “Ai Sae Areba Nanni mo Iranai”, might not be the most memorable track.

9. Majokko Megu-chan

Since the two previous tracks kind of focused on the Gens, I was surprised that they made this song (a cover, mind you) focus around Kassa (Momona).  I was curious because we hadn’t had a lot of time to get to know her yet.  I mean it’s a neat song and I found myself humming along and surprised that Kassa held her own here since she was the focus (well the group pops in the 2nd verse).  Sad to say, but it was the favorite of the single.

10. Manner Mode

Another single, new members huh?  Yeah this was the debut for Musubu Funaki (who basically was sent here shortly after Country Girls kind of went on a semi-hiatus) and Ayano Kawamura, a Kenshuusei member.  Also adding that this was a WEIRD misnomer of a single because it was a DVD single and didn’t count as a release from their singles list, but I’m happy they made the cut.  Manner Mode was the first known and boy listening to it now, it actually reminds me a lot of “Umaku Ienai” with the pop/rock/funk groove.  At least it’s pretty straightforward, but like the last couple of songs, I kind of forgot how this went before the review here.  Yeah, it’s OK I suppose lol.

11. Kisoku Tadashiku Utsukushiku

Not quite sure why this song has a fake intro to the song.  Anyways, from this DVD single, I definitely remember this song the most because it had the most dramatics and kind of reminded me of “Otome no Gyakushuu”!  I also like how the song revolves around Takechan, new member Funakki, Kanana, and Rinapuu.  The Gothic vibes I get from the song is just neat and the chorus is powerful and frantic and it just is catchy all-around!

12. Kimi Dake ja nai sa…friends

I mean I know they’re different arrangements, but I don’t know why we needed both on the album.  Regardless, the original version of the song features Kamiko, Murotan, and new member Kawamuu at the front of the songs and honestly I had totally forgot how this version went because I am so used to the updated one.  Not quite sure if I like the dance beats and just general upbeatness of the track and to be fair while I think Moe sounded nice, Murotan sounded rough and Kawamuu’s voice is so squeaky…  Not a song that I’m totally fond of (well I did like the game-esque ending though).

13. Nakenai ze…Kyoukan Sagi

Finally we get to the last single to represent the best-of section and Nakenai ze…Kyoukan Sagi was a great banger in 2018!  Another EDM-centric song, this one had a bit more push from just about everyone and it just was a cool song for the group to have almost in the same vein as “Tsugitsugi Zokuzoku” was.  Powerful and just fun to listen to, a total surprise from last year!

14. Uraha=Lover

Last year when I first reviewed this, I wasn’t too intrigued by this one, but since then, Uraha=Lover has actually grown on me and the kind of upbeat yet serious feel of the song is more intriguing than I was expecting.  A less dramatic “Wasurete Ageru” I think would be the guess I have for it.  I am a little distracted by the 3-note guitar melody that’s all over the choruses and louder parts.  I will say, hearing all the girls singing is awesome and I remember a LOT of Funakki here for some reason (probably because of the PV) and the filtered last chorus with Kamiko & Ayacho.  Either way, the song is pretty good nowadays!

15. Kimi Dake ja nai sa…friends (2018 Acoustic Ver.)

Like I said, weird with two versions of the same song right?  Anyways this version differs quite a bit from the original cut by stripping aways the synths and dance beats to leave us with acoustic guitar and light percussion.  Also the song has solos for everyone (though I felt like Rikako had a bit more going on?).  Still, the song is quite blah and despite being shorter as well, I was kind of bored with it, maybe on the same levels as the original.

CD 3

1. Taikibansei

I’m still confused by the CD order, but I guess we’re at the 3rd disc, starting with the first track that was performed under the ANGERME name!  Taikibansei was a shock to the say the least and REALLY invigorated the group with the crowd pleaser of a song.  On top of the new name, we were introduced to 3 new members here, Rikako Sasaki, Mizuki Murota, and Maho Aikawa and while I do like them entering, Murotan was the only one of the 3 to get a solo (alongside Ayacho as majority of the song was sung in groupings).  Anyways, Taikibansei is fun and just always puts me into an energetic mood!  Love this song!

2. Otome no Gyakushuu

The other A-side was a bit more interesting and darker with a kind of baroque, Gothic style about it mixed with a solid beat.  I also forgot that this was when Kanon Fukuda & Meimi Tamura were still in the group.  The tune is quite a bop still and while it does feel basic compared to future songs, there’s just something about it that works here.  Plus hearing Rikako here is awesomes too.

3. Nana Korobi Ya Oki

So it seems this was the only song they had done a “dance unit” for their A-side and that meant 3 members (Rikako, Kanon, and Rina) were basically sitting out for this song.  After “Otome no Gyakushuu”, I guess this liked the Gothic tones and took it and added some oomph to the arrangement and some of the singers were just owning it.  Definitely one of my favorite songs because there was a lot of Meimi, Kanana, Rinapuu, and Murotan and even our first Maho solo too!  It was just epic and despite not all members present in the song, it still just kills!

4. Gashinshoutan

Getting into Gashinshoutan, this song was a total 180 from the more serious “Nana Korobi Ya Oki” being more lighthearted and even fun and upbeat.  This was also the first time I felt like all the members had lines and prominent ones at that (though I think Nyon got the push because it was around the time she announced her graduation).  I had a lot of fun listening to this one and the girls sound similar too.  Awesome!

5. Mahou Tsukai Sally

As a cover of an old cartoon theme, Mahou Tsukai Sally was pretty unique to the single because not only it was mostly cutesy but the focus was entirely on Rikako, Mizuki, and Maho (with a solo from Ayacho & Nyon).  I mean it’s a bit repetitive, but there’s enough changes in the arrangement that it keeps my interest.  Not the most memorable song they’ve done, but it has its quirks about it.

6. Desugita Kui wa Utarenai

I wasn’t expecting the horror sounds to open up Desugita Kui wa Utarenai as one of the last A-sides Kanon took part in.  Though the song is a bit of a wild track in of itself with a loud arrangement that takes the genre into more metal (were they trying to be like BABYMETAL?).  The song though is good in parts, but messy in other parts too.  It has gotten better since I first reviewed it, but there’s just some parts that are too messy for my liking.

7. Dondengaeshi

Which is pretty cool that this song was up next because I felt like it fixed the things I had troubles getting into “Desugita Kui wa Utarenai” for.  It’s still a pretty heavy song, but it isn’t relentless and crazy.  Add on that I really enjoyed the vocals and power in the chorus going back and forth between members.  I mean definitely the best song from the single and two rock ANGERME songs had made me though they’d go into a new direction (though that wasn’t the case in the end XD).

8. Watashi

I know this single was Kanon’s last with the group, but damn was this song THE FURTHEST away from what the two tracks previous had brought.  Instead of the hard guitars and loud drums, Watashi is cutesy EDM that felt more suitable for S/mileage TBH.  Though knowing Nyon herself worked lyrically here is a surprise and impressive.  The song itself is ok I suppose, but Kanon’s squeaky tone isn’t doing well for me.  Just kind of an odd track all-around but it’s for a special moment of graduation!

9. Namida wa Chou ni Kawaru

I think I was most surprised that this album would go ahead and include the 6 songs that came from their odd compilation album “S/mileage / ANGERME SELECTION BEST “Taikibansei””.  I had already forgot what most of the songs sounded like so it was like new songs to me again XD.  Namida wa Chou ni Kawaru right from that start does still remind me of Juice=Juice’s “Hadaka no Hadaka no Hadaka no KISS” because both of strong latin vibes throughout.  I do like the members all get solos here and it’s softly sung but I think the chorus disappoints me a bit, just doesn’t hit the right places.  Still I suppose it’s alright though.

10. Kakugoshite!

Next up, Kakugoshite! was an odd song for me since it didn’t grab my interest back in the initial review.  Returning back to this song, Kakugoshite! is kind of weird because it feels like a straight-up album song since it doesn’t feel like it has any memorable parts besides the hook (which I find annoying).  I guess the song just doesn’t quite live up to the expectations for me and just falls flat even today.

11. Marionette 37°C

I feel like this, “Otome no Gyakushuu” and “Kisoku Tadashiku Utsukushiku” share this connection of this dark, Halloween, creepiness and I kind of dig it everytime I hear it so returning back to Marionette 37°C has me al excited and what not.  I will say it kind of feels more related to “Otome no Gyakushuu” because it’s a bit more playful in the arrangement and I always love hearing the members get solos.  Appreciating more that Maho has the first and last solo of the track too!  I ended up pretty much enjoying all of this!

12. Asekaite Carnival

So now ANGERME is doing their own take of Kobushi’s “Samba! Kobushi Janeiro”?  is what I get when I listen to this track because it’s just as festive and upbeat as you think it goes.  A song that doesn’t have a Maho solo (everyone else does though).  I like a good portion of it and the celebratory feeling is just great to hear.  The only thing I don’t exactly agree with is the dubstep smudge in the pre-chorus, just doesn’t fit honestly.  Other than that, this is a pretty good track!

13. Kousaten

Maybe it would’ve been more appropriate had Kousaten actually ended the disc instead of “Tomo yo” but that’s just me.  Anyways, Kousaten is the ballad of the 6 songs and the only one to not include Kanon as this was kind of the goodbye song to her from the group, but I suppose you could also link this to Ayacho as well now.  Really simple ballad and I do appreciate all 8 members have a solo line, but otherwise it’s kind of a typical goodbye ballad and it really didn’t stand out to me, even “Kimi Dake ja nai sa…friends” was memorable at least x.x

14. Tomo yo

The 3rd disc ends with Tomo yo which is kind of the “Namidacchi” or “Iron Heart” for ANGERME being primarily used as an encore during lives to kind of go out on an energetic note.  The upbeat rowdiness of the song might intrigue some, but this feels like a dumped Buono! song sung by ANGERME.  Most of the song is sung in groupings (minus one solo from Nyon).  I think I kind of OK with this song but I think maybe “Kousaten” would’ve been a better album closer.

Tracks Recommended

  • Akai Earphone
  • 46-okunen LOVE
  • I Musou Strong!
  • Koi wa Accha Accha
  • Itoshi Itoshi to Say My Heart

 

  • Ai no Tame Kyou Made Shinkashite Kita Ningen Ai no Tame Subete Taikashite Kita Ningen
  • Tsugitsugi Zokuzoku
  • Nakenai ze…Kyoukan Sagi
  • Umaku Ienai
  • Wasurete Ageru

 

  • Dondengaeshi
  • Nana Korobi Ya Oki
  • Taikibansei
  • Marionette 37°C
  • Otome no Gyakushuu

Songs of Avoidance

  • Yumemita 15nen
  • Kimi Dake ja nai sa…friends
  • Kousaten

Wow, it’s been so long since we’ve seen an album that it’s to the point where this is the FIRST ANGERME album!  Rinnetenshou is a long due album for sure and probably only was released because the last original S/mileage member Ayaka Wada is graduating.

The first disc was where most of the interest was at because there were 10 new songs to listen to and for the most part it was pretty awesome material and with the last two singles and the digital single was good enough to pad the disc out as well!  Really hoped for a little more relevance of Ayacho’s graduation besides a revamped cut of Yumemita 15nen, but that’s just me…she should’ve gotten something bigger than one solo track.

As for CD 2 & 3, all I can say is I wished the discs were vice versa and have it work chronologically, but I do appreciate all the ANGERME songs (sans OST songs) making the cut so this release felt like a Complete Best album (minus the couple of S/mileage songs that still don’t have an album to be on).

As a whole, Rinnetenshou was a pretty strong album and really happy we finally got it, Up-Front should never wait this long for an album like this.  Just do it after a couple singles PLEASE!!!

 

 

WayV – Take Off May 10, 2019

Filed under: NCT — solarblade @ 3:26 am

Take Off 6

Track Listing

  1. Take Off
  2. Regular
  3. Say It
  4. Come Back
  5. Let Me Love U
  6. Dream Launch

1. Take Off

As the leading song, I was curious to see what WayV had up their sleeves as their first original leading track.  I’m liking the kind of similar groove it has to something from NCT 127 with the grittier hip-hop vibe.  I do like that Lucas opens the song up with a rapping line with Yangyang.  Though later on Hendery, Ten & Winwin joins in the rap.  Though I do like the song slowing down for the prechorus with Xiaojun & Kun.  This song has got some good flow to it and the chorus is pretty dope too!  Even the more aggressive bridge suited everything too.  Yeah, not bad!

2. Regular

Not sure why they had to include the whole “The Vision” single here, but its whatever.  Not really much to say here that I haven’t multiple times about the song itself honestly.  WayV’s version is interesting just in the fact that it’s sung by 90% by new members (with only Winwin here from the original cut).

3. Say It

At least it’s evened out by new songs here right?  Say It opens kind of mysterious before it’s lead by some nice light vocals in this airy and ethereal atmosphere (heightened by some whisper and piano) before the song builds up and goes kind of EDM and then into some kind of mix of that and trap beats.  I kind of like the grow and the after-chorus sounds a bit chaotic too!  While I do hear a lot of Ten, Kun, and Xiaojun, the other members do show up, but the song feels rather short to me?  Not bad though and I like the fact the members sing together more here!

4. Come Back

So returning to this song again, Come Back still makes me wonder why it’s a popular song.  Anyways, Come Back is the group going into this pop/hip-hop feel, but leans more towards the poppier side of things.  I do appreciate that all the members get lines here and I feel like the 3 newbies fit nicely into the mold as well!  I do see the lean on Xiaojun though and I dig that, maybe I was harsh?  I dunno, but regardless, Come Back is good though.  Plus hearing Lucas, Hendery, and Yangyang rap is fun XD

5. Let Me Love U

The last of the new tracks, Let Me Love U kind of dials it back for this rather light, poppy acoustic heavy track and I actually really liked this setting for the boys here.  It just feels lighthearted and soft and suited for the guys’ vocals.  It’s like what if they did a NCT DREAM song y’know?  It’s a really cool laidback song for them and settles things down for the final track

6. Dream Launch

Likewise, the mini ends with Dream Launch which post “The Vision” review ended up getting a PV,  Like “Let Me Love U”, it’s pretty laidback and has more of an R&B-kind of flow to it that makes it relaxing.  Once again, lines are just nice to hear and everyone gets a solo throughout (though Winwin & Hendery get like two solo lines).  It’s relaxing and sweet and closes the mini on a nice note.

 

 

WayV seems to have finally released their first mini and it was OK.  Not sure if I would’ve included the whole “The Vision” single on here, but the new tracks were pretty decent I have to say.  They might become big if they keep this up as all the members do sound great together.  Just wonder when Winwin will return to 127 and if the other members are going to be utilized elsewhere under the NCT branding in the future.  Overall, Take Off was pretty good!

 

BEYOOOOONDS – Engeki Joshi-bu “Fushigi no Kuni no Alice-tachi” OST May 7, 2019

Filed under: BEYOOOOONDS — solarblade @ 6:04 am

fushiginokuninoalive

Track Listing

  1. Fushigi no Kuni no Alice-tachi
  2. Minna Rival
  3. Watashi no Philosophy
  4. Tsuzuiteiru

1. Fushigi no Kuni no Alice-tachi

As the main theme of the play, I was coming into this wondering what it would sound like (especially dealing with 12 new members).  I kind of was hoping the tune would be somewhat darker, but the dance beat and kind of mysterious glow of the track works as well.  While I can’t tell who is who singing currently, the group of ladies sound decent and it sounds not like the low quality feel of something like “Karen na Gasshoudan” did when the KSS had that play.  I think Ichioka and Takase has a solo but that’s all I really know.  Overall, the song is probably one of the better Engeki theme songs out there!

2. Minna Rival

The other song to feature all 12 members, Minna Rival is a bit more playful and features more solo lines and some spoken dialogue throughout.  Once again, I do recognize Reina’s vocals over everyone elses (because hers is quite unique).  I kind of like the bounciness of the track and the back and forth between members is kind of humorous to say the least!  Not bad!~

3. Watashi no Philosophy

So the other two tracks are split between CHICA#TETSU and Ame no Mori Kawa Umi (the two units branched from BEYOOOOONDS).  The first is of course from CHICA#TETSU (Reina Ichioka, Rika Shimakura, Shiori Nishida, and Saya Eguchi).  Continuing this girly kind of fantasy-like setting, Watashi no Philosophy does kind of has this Disney-like quality to it.  Luckily, the quartet sounds nice together, even if Ichioka’s voice is so noticeable lol to me at least.  I think it’s OK (though I don’t get the cybernetic motif in the 2nd verse).

4. Tsuzuiteiru

Though I guess I wasn’t expecting beatboxing to open the last track sung by Ame no Mori Kawa Umi (Kurumi Takase, Momohime Kiyono, Kokoro Maeda, Minami Okamura, and Yuhane Yamazaki).  While I’m not used to any of the 5 vocalists yet, they also sound well together and I personally think this song worked for them too.  It actually sounds like an album track to me versus a OST song in comparison to “Watashi no Philosophy”.

 

 

Why am I not surprised that BEYOOOOONDS’ first release in H!P would be an OST single to promote their stageplay?  I mean I guess it’s a fair preview to their actual debut single set for August.  I am quite impressed at how all 12 sound (well we really didn’t get to hear Miho Hirai, Utano Satoyoshi, and Honoka Kobayashi) but the other 9 seem to really get it and sound strong.  Like I said, this is a decent sample of what’s to come and I’m excited for their actual debut!