Kurayami Monogatari

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Aimer – After Dark July 25, 2014

Filed under: Aimer — solarblade @ 3:27 am

afterdark

Track Listing

  1. After Dark -prologue-
  2. Polaris
  3. words
  4. AM02:00 (haruka nakamura La Nuit remix)
  5. After Dark
  6. Amazing Grace -Live in church ver.-
  7. Anata ni Deawa Nakareba ~Kasetsu Toka~ -Live in church ver.-
  8. Kyo Kara Omoide -Live in church ver.-
  9. Hoshikuzu Venus -Live in church ver.-
  10. Sabishikute Nemurenai Yoru wa -Live in church ver.-
  11. RE: I AM -Live in church ver.-
  12. Rokutousei no Yoru -Live at anywhere ver.-

1. After Dark -prologue-

So this mini-album begins with an introduction which has a pretty piano introduction and a spoken monologue from Aimer.  It’s quite light and pretty to listen to.  Albeit rather short still.

2. Polaris

The introduction slides quite smoothly into our first main track, Polaris.  I first noticed that this was actually 6 minutes long which quite worried me.  Aimer’s vocals are quite soft and pretty to hear against the arrangement especially when she builds herself up for the chorus.  Yeah, it’s a bit long, but it’s a soothing track to really get the mini moving.

3. words

The next track is quite as hard to listen to because it’s also 6 minutes long which at this point might not have been a good idea to place them back to back.  This one doesn’t have the same energetic feel to it, but it’s calm and the small things are really pretty to hear.  Sometimes she kind of slurs lyrics which kind of bothered me but it’s a nice track I suppose.

4. AM02:00 (haruka nakamura La Nuit remix)

So we get a remix of a song that was originally from her debut album, “Sleepless Nights”.  Makes sense this song continues to be light and minimal in arrangement.  Actually this song slowly grows in sound, but still retains that lightness.  Strings and acoustic guitar/bass adds more life to it and Aimer’s vocals does sound echoed and filtered in some areas.  It’s a nice pleasant song overall but I still prefer the original.

5. After Rain

Then comes the title track (and probably what was to be the final track) and it’s oddly enough the most alive song on the mini.  I’m meaning that After Rain has an upbeat mid-tempo feel and there’s some nice ideas.  Aimer’s vocals are also pushing some new boundaries by being more alive (sometimes it’s reminding me of YUI).  It’s definitely the best of the mini-album which doesn’t say too much because Aimer rarely goes out and does these type of songs.

6. Amazing Grace -Live in church ver.-

So the remainder of the mini-album consists of live versions of past songs of hers minus two exceptions.  This is a new cover of that GODDAMN song that I just despise with any artist covering it.  Aimer’s version is just the main verse that’s oh-so well known.  It’s stretched to a little over 2 minutes…yeah…she stretched the hell out of it.  Not even that good either…

7. Anata ni Deawa Nakereba ~Kasetsu Toka~ -Live in church ver.-
8. Kyo Kara Omoide -Live in church ver.-
9. Hoshikuzu Venus -Live in church ver.-
10. Sabishikute Nemurenai Yoru wa -Live in church ver.-
11. RE:I AM -Live in church ver.-

There really is no reason for me to even talk about these 5 songs seperately so I decided to group them up together.  So I guess talking about this, Aimer held a closed performance (at a church maybe?) and she performed “Amazing Grace” and these 5 other songs which most are leading songs.  Now why I’m pairing these 5 together is simply because their ALL PIANO ONLY songs that were performed live.  I’m not interested in just only piano but she does have a lot of talent to back it up.  She sounds ultimately stable throughout so I could form an opinion of the songs singularly.

12. Rokutousei no Yoru -Live at anywhere ver.-

From what I read this is actually an early performance from Aimer, which makes sense as it was her debut A-side.  Otherwise it sounds just like if she had performed this in the closed performance.  It’s really nothing special.

 

 

As this is a mini-album there is no favs/dislikes.  The main course for After Dark (which is the first 5 songs) is pretty decent.  Polaris and words are a bit too long for me but they’re pretty good tracks.  The title track though was the best thing and I wish she had more of these kind of songs and not so many ballads.  The remix is nice too.  To kind of apologize to her fans, they did decide to include all those live performances which to me killed me and I zoned out because piano-only ballads just don’t work with me and I was easily bored.  Plus Amazing Grace….can we bury that song?

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Aimer – RE:I AM EP March 24, 2013

Filed under: Aimer — solarblade @ 4:46 pm

reiam

Track Listing

  1. RE:I AM
  2. Hoshi no Kieta Yoru ni
  3. Kyo Kara Omoide
  4. RE:I AM (instrumental)
  5. Hoshi no Kieta Yoru ni (instrumental)
  6. Anata ni Deawa Nakereba ~Kasetsu Toka~ (TV Size) (Limited Pressing only)

1. RE:I AM

I was really surprised when Aimer was chosen to do a theme for GUNDAM and instantly thought she was going to release a sappy ballad (since everything before was a ballad).  RE:I AM though is a very nice surprise and has such a broad and powerful sound with guitars and loud drums.  Aimer’s vocals are slightly weak against the arrangement at various points, but for the most part, this was what she needed and I really like the song.

2. Hoshi no Kieta Yoru ni

Going into something a bit more softspoken and a bit more normal for Aimer to release, Hoshi no Kieta Yoru ni is a ballad, but it has this kind of magical and almost dreamscapish sound that makes it even more recognizable in Aimer’s discography.  I have to say that this song worked a tad bit better than the A-side, but then again this is her safe zone lol.

3. Kyo Kara Omoide

We get even ballad-heavy with Kyo Kara Omoide which sounds like 90% of her music so it’s mostly piano-fronted Aimer here.  I mean it is a lot like “Rokutosei no Yoru” but as a B-side so that should say something too.  Not much to report here, but Aimer whispy vocals do stand out for some reason.

Aimer’s first single after her debut album (and cover album as well) and she’s already stepping out of her comfort zone.  RE:I AM is an interesting pop/rock tune and Aimer sort of passes, but her vocals didn’t seem to mesh well to the music.  If you wanted something familiar, go with Kyo Kara Omoide, but if you want something awesome with something fresh, Hoshi no Kieta Yoru ni might be your song.  Overall, not bad and I’m looking forward to future releases.

 

Aimer – Sleepless Nights October 3, 2012

Filed under: Aimer — solarblade @ 7:27 am

Track Listing

  1. TWINKLE TWINKLE LITTLE STAR -prologue-
  2. Yakou Ressha ~nothing to lose~
  3. Anata ni Deawa Nakereba ~Kasetsu Toka~
  4. Egao
  5. Re:pray
  6. Kanashimi wa Aurora ni (Restarred by Takagi Masakatsu)
  7. Sabishikute Nemurenai Yoru wa
  8. AM02:00
  9. Hoshikuzu Venus
  10. Yuki no Furu Machi
  11. Fuyu no Diamond (Re-echoed by Genki Rockets)
  12. Rokutosei no Yoru
  13. TWINKLE TWINKLE LITTLE STAR

1. TWINKLE TWINKLE LITTLE STAR -prologue-

I really dislike the fact that Aimer opened the album with a short excerpt from probably my least favorite tracks from her.  I mean the way it repeats is really grating and her Engrish kind of gets on my nerves but hey at least it’s short as hell. 

2. Yakou Ressha ~nothing to lose~

After that bleh intro, we get into the first new track (of three…).  I kind of like the fact that there’s some acoustic guitars at work instead of what she’s been putting out.  The song is also a little more upbeat than most of the tracks on the album and I liked that.  Aimer’s vocals are really nice to listen to and she puts out a good enough of emotion behind it. Good first full track!

3. Anata ni Deawa Nakereba ~Kasetsu Toka~

Moving into ballad-land, Anata ni Deawa Nakereba is still the best of the many A-sides of this album.  It just has a lot of color and Aimer just sounds so beautiful singing the song.  It does have your typical ballad instruments which is going to be a problem the album will have but this track handled it very well. 

4. Egao

At the same time length as the previous track Egao, starts up nice with a little opening with filtered beats and piano.  I actually thought Egao would be a darker song, but it kind of has a lighter mood but like a dull light which is pretty cool.  I do like the song since it’s kind of cozy and pretty to listen to and that chorus is kind of catchy.  Pretty good song!

5. Re:pray

As this is Aimer’s most recognizable tune (was an ending theme for BLEACH after all), Re:pray really has kind of fallen off the chart for me.  I mean it sounds like a most of Aimer’s current discography so it kind of failed to stand out for me.  I will say that it’s not terrible and some parts of the song are really pleasant, but zzzzz.

6. Kanashimi wa Aurora ni (Restarred by Takagi Masakatsu)

As the second A-side from her debut single, Kanashimi wa Aurora ni was one of two tracks on the album that got touched up.  It’s really evident when the song starts because the arrangement has turned from a sparkly little tune to a bland piano arrangement.  This is pretty tragic because I really did like the original!  TERRIBLE IDEA!

7. Sabishikute Nemurenai Yoru wa

As the secondary A-side akin to “Re:pray”, Sabishikute Nemurenai Yoru wa follows up after the previous track with Aimer and piano opening the song up.  At this point, I was kind of zoning out further from the album.  The song tries to go places by adding drums and strings but it really doesn’t add too much, but at least it’s got a little more going for it than “Kanashimi wa Aurora ni” did.

8. AM02:00

I’m finding it weird that I’m kind of enjoying the new tracks more than the old ones on the album.  Unlike the many ballads, this once has a little more of a beat to it granting it’s mid-tempo style.  It just is nice to see Aimer in a setting that isn’t behind just strings and piano.  Yeah this is pleasant of a song…different change of pace.

9. Hoshikuzu Venus

As the only track released as a digital single (and later was the secondary A-side akin to “Anata ni Deawa Nakereba”) I still am not a big fan of this song.  It’s a lot like “Sabishikute Nemurenai Yoru wa” which is already a no-no for me, but I wasn’t too much a fan of Aimer’s whispery vocals in the song.  I don’t know but this feels like a clone of a song that I’m not a big fan of either…

10. Yuki no Furu Machi

As the primary A-side from her 3rd single, Yuki no Furu Machi introduces synths into the arrangement for this winter song and I actually kind of started to enjoy it a little more than I did from the single.  I think there’s something about the song that’s charming and Aimer sounds better than she did in the previous track. 

11. Fuyu no Diamond (Re-echoed by Genki Rockets)

The other track that got edited for the album, Fuyu no Diamond had the opposite happen when compared to “Kanashimi wa Aurora ni” as in more things were added rather than taken out.  So going from a boring ballad to something a little more experimental (especially with Genki Rockets at hand).  There’s some electrionic buzzes and clicks and the arrangement is a bit more ethereal.  However, it feels longer than the original (in literal sense it is…but it feels like 8 minutes).  I do like it, even if it kind of doesn’t fit.

12. Rokutosei no Yoru

Ahhh her debut A-side is found towards the end huh?  After going through the entire album listening to Aimer’s stuff and coming into the debut track, Rokutosei no Yoru doesn’t sound as unique as it once did because it does remind me of a lot of the other tracks, but the chorus is a little more dramatic.  It’s pretty standard…but did fairly good.

13. TWINKLE TWINKLE LITTLE STAR

Unfortunately, the album closes the same way it begun with this ridiculous cover of this nursury rhyme.  I know it’s the shortest track at two minutes, but that’s even too long for this track.  I mean, like I’ve said about the prologue, Aimer sounds really mechanical and her engrish is meh….plus the song is repetitive as hell…it just doesn’t work for me…gross way to close the album.

Tracks Recommended

  • Egao
  • Anata ni Deawa Nakereba ~Kasetsu Toka~
  • Yuki no Furu Machi
  • Yakou Ressha ~nothing to lose~

Song of Avoidance

  • TWINKLE TWINKLE LITTLE STAR

Well, listening to Aimer’s first album was REALLY hard to get through.  I mean the fact that ALL of her A-sides have made the album cut really made this release single-heavy and left space for only three new songs.  Sleepless Nights is tough because majority of the songs are ballads and even then the it only goes to mid-tempo.  It just really wasn’t my kind of album, but I’m sure ballad lovers might find something hear to their tastes.

 

Aimer – Anata ni Deawa Nakereba ~Kasetsu Toka~/Hoshikuzu Venus August 15, 2012

Filed under: Aimer — solarblade @ 6:45 am

Track Listing

  1. Anata ni Deawa Nakereba ~Kasetsu Toka~
  2. Hoshikuzu Venus
  3. Breaking Up Is Hard To Do
  4. Anata ni Deawa Nakereba ~Kasetsu Toka~ (TV Size)

1. Anata ni Deawa Nakereba ~Kasetsu Toka~

I’m still having trouble keeping my interest for Aimer since her last two singles haven’t really impressed me like her debut.  Anata ni Deawa Nakereba isn’t anything different from what she’s done but at least the chorus has a bit more push and it just keeps going from there which is SUCH an upgrade for her at this point.  It could possibly be her best A-side yet!

2. Hoshikuzu Venus

As the other A-side, I’m surprised she gave that to this song which was actually a digital single back in May.  I shouldn’t have been surprised that we ended up with another ballad somehow.  It kind of starts out like the A-side did with Aimer and light piano before it opens to a broader sound.  Aimer’s vocals are stuck on this light, whispery style and it just comes off as boring to me, at least the chorus brings it out better.  I would’ve like a different song than this but I guess it’s all right.

3. Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

Of course like every single she’s released, the third song is a cover song of an older WAY OLDER song from Neil Sedaka (the original was released back in 1962).  Aimer’s cover of the song is actually her best cover yet by being devoid of the piano and his a carefree pop/rock sound to it.  I still am not used to Aimer’s Engrish but she gives the song  extra charm. 

 

 

So many A-sides!  At least this is the final single before Aimer releases her first album.  I actually think this is the best single out of the four she’s released.  Anata ni Deawa Nakereba actually didn’t bore me this time and she used the same style she’s been using since her first single!  Hoshikuzu Venus is kind of boring but still consistent I guess (plus it was originally a digital single).  The cover though is definitely her best one out of the four she’s done from the singles.  It’s light and fun to listen to, plus Aimer’s English is getting better, but still wonky sometimes.  I just hope her album won’t be only ballads TBH >.>

 

Aimer – Yuki no Furu Machi/Fuyu no Diamond February 24, 2012

Filed under: Aimer — solarblade @ 2:19 am

Track Listing

  1. Yuki no Furu Machi
  2. Fuyu no Diamond
  3. ORION

1. Yuki no Furu Machi

Starting the single with the primary A-side, Yuki no Furu Machi really bores me!  I mean good god, at least try to stray away from the A-sides you’ve done previously because it’s all the same and it really frustrates me that this song is just like both “Rokutosei no Yoru” & “Re:pray”.  I think the melody of the song does stick out better because there’s synths involved during the instrumental parts but otherwise, this is pretty forgettable IMO.

2. Fuyu no Diamond

A 6 minute ballad for Fuyu no Diamond?  It kind of takes the slight synth moments from “Yuki no Furu Machi” but once again finds itself in mediocrity by sounding like most of the other A-sides.  I’m just disappointed here and not even Aimer’s vocals could’ve saved the boredom I had listening to the song.  Though the chorus is nice…still once again frowny…

3. ORION

As always the third song on Aimer’s singles are a cover, however this one is actually a cover of a Japanese artist and that’s Mika Nakashima (which I’m surprised she covered ORION and not “Yuki no Hana” XD.  It’s actually quite simple of a cover only having percussion and piano involved.  While I liked Aimer’s take on in, it’s hard to really cover a song that someone (like Mika) who has unique vocals.  Still I liked this…

 

 

I’m kind of just disappointed in this single to be honest.  Both A-sides failed to bring anything new to the table and both sounded like past A-sides that it just seemed to glide by without notice.  However the only redeeming quality about the single is that ORION was not bad of a cover.  Gah, she needs to break from the ballad zone once!

 

Aimer – Re:pray/Sabishikute Nemurenai Yoru wa December 17, 2011

Filed under: Aimer — solarblade @ 1:39 pm

Track Listing

  1. Re:pray
  2. Sabishikute Nemurenai Yoru wa
  3. Poker Face

1. Re:pray

I find that Re:pray is a pretty ballad from Aimer and a lot more memorable of a song when compared to “Rokutosei no Yoru” but not so much past “Kanashimi wa Aurora ni”.  Though I have to admit this song is a bit more of the same old same from her.  Strings and piano with little other knick-knacks here.  It’s a pretty good song for something that’s a little more happier even Aimer sounds better as well!  Good for the first A-side.

2. Sabishikute Nemurenai Yoru wa

The other A-side, Sabishikute Nemurenai Yoru wa made things even more light be really being only Aimer and piano at the beginning of the song.  I really don’t know why but her voice has a slight YUI-tinge to it that I can’t deny.  After a while more instruments are included and then it kind of turns into “Re:pray” 2.  I still prefer the previous song though since it felt brighter and the chorus really stood out!

3. Poker Face

I mean the last cover Aimer did was of a children’s tune and now she’s switching it up by covering Lady Gaga’s most recognizable tune (that could be argued, I know…).  Aimer’s version is more piano-based and a little more jazzy but it’s just unusual to take the song that way.  Add in the fact that Aimer’s vocals are just a gamble in this song.  Some parts she sounds really nice but other parts show her Engrish and the awkwardness through the lyrics don’t fit the style much either.  It’s just a little humorous of a cover…I mean bongo drums and some weird keyboard sound?  WEIRD.

 

 

It’s pretty hard to decide if this single was better than her debut single but then again it’s hard deciding things.  Re:pray was the best here so that’s pretty good for the leading song.  Sabishikute Nemurenai Yoru wa kind of runs on the same stuff like her other original songs which is kind of bad if that’s going to be her shtick in her career (meaning she needs to change it up from piano/strings ballads).  I will say that Poker Face is a MUCH better cover than “TWINKLE TWINKLE LITTLE STAR”…so all in all, I guess this single did better in the long run.

 

Aimer – Rokutosei no Yoru/Kanashimi wa Aurora ni/TWINKLE TWINKLE LITTLE STAR September 7, 2011

Filed under: Aimer — solarblade @ 5:59 pm

Track Listing

  1. Rokutosei no Yoru
  2. Kanashimi wa Aurora ni
  3. TWINKLE TWINKLE LITTLE STAR

1. Rokutosei no Yoru

Did YUI switch to piano again?!?  Nah, we have a new artist here with Aimer and yes, her vocals have that same grittyness to it that YUI has, but a little more deeper and it slightly disappears when she opens up.  It’s been a while since we got a ballad that was like this and I kind of enjoyed it but her vocals are ones you have to get used to.  I’d say it’s pretty good for a debut A-side

2. Kanashimi wa Aurora ni

I prefer the second A-side actually more than “Rokutosei no Yoru” because Aimer’s vocals sounds a lot more pleasant and the arrangement has a LOT more color to it even though it’s still a ballad at heart.  It’s got the right workings and it gets dramatic at the right parts as well.  Yeah best one of the three songs.

3. TWINKLE TWINKLE LITTLE STAR

I’m kind of like hoping it wasn’t a cover of what I thought it was, but it is and it really makes me curious to why she covered such a song like this.  Aimer’s English is quite good but she does pronounces things a little weird like ~diamond~.  However, she doesn’t sing it like it should and repeats lines over and over and it gets damn annoying after a while. 

 

 

Aimer’s debut single was quite light and wasn’t really supposed to be all that.  Rokutosei no Yoru was alright for a debut, but not totally amazing.  If you wanted that, Kanashimi wa Aurora ni was the answer and that should’ve been the lead A-side for sure.  You can just simply pass TWINKLE TWINKLE LITTLE STAR because it’s just bad and kind of boring really lol