Kurayami Monogatari

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Aira Mitsuki – Animo! November 1, 2015

Filed under: Aira Mitsuki — solarblade @ 5:55 am

animo

Track Listing

  1. Lilily☆Nation
  2. Animo!
  3. Lilily☆Nation (Instrumental)
  4. Animo! (Instrumental)

1. Lilily☆Nation

Surprising to see Aira starts the single with the B-side?  Seems a bit strange xD.  Wasn’t expecting to also have Aira cover a VOCOLOID song (which I’m not sure of its popularity).  From the beginning, the song has a stronger club sound that’s a bit more akin to songs from “???”.  I do feel like Aira’s voice is somewhat more filtered than normal (a stronger amount of auto-tune, personally).  I’m enjoying the arrangement though and the kind of progressive sound is quite enjoyable with Aira’s raspy vocals, it’s definitely unique.  I’m enjoying this quite a bit!

2. Animo!

Then we get into the main course with Animo! and like with the cover song, it’s also quite club-friendly, but also a lot more aggressive than “Lilily☆Nation” which is a nice change of pace.  Actually it sounds something I would’ve loved to see a PV from this song because the punching beats and cool chords is really cool and definitely ranks up their with other songs she’s done that I ended up loving!  I’m not sure why that it reminds me of capsule (more specifically Nakata) but it’s still really decent!

Aira’s 2nd single (coming out surprisingly quickly after “LIGHTSAVER”), Animo! is a pretty good follow-up and she didn’t work with the same producers which is surprising but keeps things fresh and exciting!  Animo! is a pretty awesome electro song and has a lot of the good things I enjoyed.  Lilily☆Nation was pretty good too and I would love to hear it in clubs because I’m loving the beat too!  Great single overall!!

 

Aira Mitsuki – LIGHTSAVER September 17, 2015

Filed under: Aira Mitsuki — solarblade @ 6:21 am

lightsaver

Track Listing

  1. LIGHTSAVER
  2. I’LL AGAIN..
  3. F.F.C.
  4. LIGHTSAVER (Instrumental)
  5. I’LL AGAIN.. (Instrumental)

1. LIGHTSAVER

Wow, what a great throwback!  It feels just like Aira has never really left because LIGHTSAVER really fits in her discography (more predominantly towards songs she released during “C.O.P.Y.” and “PLASTIC” because it has that kind of gritty techno that she was known before in that time period and oddly enough she isn’t working with Terukado on this, but a group named NUXX who also debuted this year.  I think they did a really awesome job capturing Aira’s essence and this song is a pretty cool example of it!  Definitely a strong A-side for sure!

2. I’LL AGAIN..

The B-side though is quite more of the same, but it has a really cool sound to it as well.  I’ve started to notice that I’ve missed Aira’s lisp in songs and it’s just refreshing to have it back with a more raw techno sound. It’s definitely a more club-centric song with a lot of synths flowing in and out through Aira’s vocals and I’m really feeling it a lot!  What a pretty cool song and I honestly enjoyed this a bit more than “LIGHTSAVER”.

3. F.F.C.

Curiously the only song without an instrumental, F.C.C. fits with the other two tracks with the techno/trance vibes and Aira’s vocals are a bit more filtered but that’s good.  Some of the chords of the song kind of remind me of a mix of “Colorful Tokyo Sounds NO.9” and “Sayonara TECHNOPOLiS” with the gritty synths and the previously mentioned chords.  It’s still pretty cool and makes me tap my feet to the beat.  I don’t think it has much excitement going on compared to “LIGHTSAVER” and “I’LL AGAIN..”.

It’s only been 2 years since Aira released her album before going on hiatus and I feel like Aira REALLY came back stronger than ever by releasing LIGHTSAVER (despite it being a digital single of course, later released physically in late October).  All the songs felt like trips back to the days when I first started this blog and reviewed her first singles and album and I loved that about the three songs.  NUXX did a fantastic job capturing that raw and less finessed sound that Aira stuck out from during the haydays of J-tek.  Seems like she wants to bring it back and I’m fully behind this single *RECOMMENDED*

 

Aira Mitsuki – I’LL BE BACK August 23, 2013

Filed under: Aira Mitsuki — solarblade @ 9:15 am

基本 RGB

Track Listing

  1. Mysteric
  2. twinkle twinkle
  3. you know
  4. Interlude #1
  5. Butterfly
  6. make new world
  7. tell me
  8. Interlude #2
  9. I still love you
  10. Interlude #3
  11. I can fly
  12. time machine
  13. Hound Dog (feat. Terukado)

1. Mysteric

Opening the album, Mysteric kicks things off with a pretty cool mid-tempo synth track that sounds almost familiar to Western artists.  The smooth synths play around the track and lets Aira take the stage in a pretty good way.  I actually really like this sound she went for with this song and definitely put my expectations a little higher with hoping how the rest of the album will turn out.  Definitely a club banger!

2. twinkle twinkle

Seeing the title of the next track, twinkle twinkle at first seemed to really sound like it was going to be cutesy and somehow when the song opened up, it kind of reminded me of “BARBiE BARBiE” but at the same time has a rather “???” sound to it as well which kind of is weird at first but as I listened on, it got a bit more modern sounding too.  I like the sparkly feel of it and sounds really like something she would’ve done in her first two albums.

3. you know

Moving on, you know is a bit more progressive than the previous track and I’ve all of a sudden I hear Aira using a bit more English in the track which actually sounds quite nice.  Though I will say when I hear ~I need you, emotional~ it kind of makes me tilt my head.  Actually overall, this is a pretty straightforward song and it’s kind of catchy but doesn’t have the longevity that “Mysteric” had so far.

4. Interlude #1

Since when did Aira do interludes for her album 0.o.  The first one is only 40 seconds long and strangely enough it sounds like a radio going through channels and it lands on songs that were from “COPY” like “GALAXY BOY”, “China Discotica” and “Yellow Supercar”.  It’s pretty strange but honestly fitting on such an album.

5. Butterfly

Butterfly comes next after and honestly coming from the interlude, I was expecting Aira to really bust out some grittier synths with this track but this kind of sounds like a “6 FORCE” song but honestly it works because I’m loving the bass line and the piano chords laid out in the track.  I kind of like the movement of the track though and fits amongst the more chiller tracks she has.

6. make new world

Moving out, I was definitely loving the fact that make new world picked up the pace once again.  The beats, bass and added guitar licks really gave this a bit more form!  I was a tad surprised to know this is the shortest track of the vocal tracks.  I do like the middle 8 section the most of the song however lol.  Not a bad track overall!

7. tell me

It just keeps getting better from here!  tell me really sounds like something from the early 90’s with the synths and arrangement of the song.  I just love the beats and Aira sounds actually good in this song (even though she has in the previous tracks >.<).  This is a great track to waste your energy jumping around!  Yeah…this was pretty cool!

8. Interlude #2

I was expecting after the first interlude, the second would be cuts from “PLASTIC” but that didn’t exactly happen.  The interlude is a strange recording from Apollo 11 launching (you know the first U.S. landing on the moon).  I still don’t quite understand the reasoning behind making this an interlude into our next track but it was nice nonetheless and the music was sweet too.

9. I still love you

The thing that I liked coming into I still love you is that while it is electropop, Aira still makes it sound so damn cute!  I mean it might just be a little cheesy of a track since it is roughly about love and all that schmooze.  Of the songs on the album, this didn’t really leave too much of an impression on me.  There’s just something missing in this song that doesn’t work…plus being crammed between two interludes…wasn’t worth it lol.

10. Interlude #3

Our last interlude is the shortest one (being only 25 seconds long) and it really only features Aira repreating phrases and the build on top of each other.  Just kind of there…also quite confusing lol.

11. I can fly

As we enter our final stretch of songs on the album, we enter I can fly which seems to mirror up similar feelings I had with “Mysteric” with the ethereal synths but also there’s a moving beat to drive it a lot stronger than that song.  I actually enjoyed it so much that it’s probably my favorite of the album!

12. time machine

I was hoping time machine was going to be a banger, but it seemed to be another one of those mid-tempo ditties to kind of just smooth things by.  I will say that I love the sound of the verses for sure but when the chorus comes in, I’m just kind of over it hahaha.  It sounds a bit too familiar to another one of her songs (but I can’t think of it at the moment).  Though it’s winning moment is during the middle 8 where you here Aira’s muddled voice is singing the chorus to “Robot Honey”.  I thought that was pretty clever.  Still besides that, the song just kind of flew by my radar.

13. Hound Dog (feat. Terukado)

The album’s final track was a strange choice as we’ve had this song available since back in April 2011.  To be honest, this track isn’t the best choice to have ended (“time machine” was a lot more appropriate).  The song itself is probably the funkiest track and there’s some stock vocals and Aira is doing some whisper-singing.  Like I said, this track is like the black sheep of the album and I’m curious as to why she (her label) decided to throw this 2 year old track on here when everything else is brand new.

Tracks Recommended

  • I can fly
  • Mysteric
  • tell me
  • Butterfly

Song of Avoidance

  • I still love you

So we finally get Aira’s 4th album (well maybe 5th including the Aira/Saori album) and unfortunately it seems like the last we’ll get since Aira is going on hiatus from music.  I’LL BE BACK is actually a solid sendoff and honestly is so much better than her last album, “???” in which nearly all of the tracks were likeable in some fashion.  The only real qualm is the need of interludes 2 & 3 and Hound Dog.  I felt if there were gone, it would’ve been a great album haha.  Still, this was a pretty strong album!

 

Aira Mitsuki×Saori@destiny – ×~PARK OF THE SAFARI December 12, 2011

Filed under: Aira Mitsuki,Saori@destiny — solarblade @ 4:50 am

Track Listing

  1. GATE or EXIT
  2. Discovery
  3. WOWTOWN
  4. PANAMA
  5. DAMAGE
  6. Umbrella
  7. Theme of Safari
  8. LAST SONG
  9. Animal Daydream
  10. Special LINK

1. GATE or EXIT

As the album’s introduction, I thought the beginning of GATE or EXIT was kind interesting at first and then what could be the biggest senseless snatch happened.  Terukado basically snatched Sleigh Bells’ “Tell ‘Em” added an extra note and made that the song’s arrangement.  If I didn’t know the band already, this wouldn’t be such a problem but I love Sleigh Bells and this really was uncalled for from him.  Hearing Aira and Saori is interesting singing though but the arrangement clearly covers them a bit much so it’s a little difficult to hear.  Still it’s an ok intro but please let’s not reuse something like that again!

2. Discovery

I must say that I was intrigued that some people described Discovery as a bit like Daft Punk (ironic since they have an album titled that).  I will say that after that rather disappointing introduction, Discovery really is something great since it feature a lot of buzzing synths and both Saori and Aira singing together which is sooo cool.  The thing that gets me is that once again, Roxanne is spittin the SAME stuff we heard already so long ago…can we stop using her in songs?  Still, this was an impressive song.

3. WOWTOWN

I love that I can hear Aira’s and Saori’s vocals seperately for WOWTOWN which is such a nostalgic trip for me.  The song has such a cute bounce to it and it works overall for me.  It’s just fun for all and it’s nice to finally focus on the girl’s vocals and I love Saori’s vocals mixing it up with Aira’s more raspy tone, who knew?

4. PANAMA

I like the next song as well replacing synths with more of a guitar-laced song that sounds like it’d be fun to hear on the beach or something like that.  With PANAMA it seems Aira takes lead for most of the song during the first verse and chorus and Saori in the second verse & chorus.  I really enjoy this song since it’s a bit more simpler in the arrangement and let the girls do their things in seperate places.

5. DAMAGE

Of the songs on here, I wasn’t expecting DAMAGE to be so chilled out and slow.  Sadly, this slow snail pace of the song kind of bores me through the song.  I mean I sense there’s some movement like the kind random placement of the background sounds and a bit of bass.  I just kind of lose focus with the song and I tune out fully by the end…not even Aira nor Saori could’ve saved the song.

6. Umbrella

Only two of the songs on the album are solo tunes, Umbrella is the first one and it’s sung entirely just by Aira.  I know Aira’s done “cute” songs in the past like “Candy Light Mode” and “Robot Honey” but Umbrella is the cute I would try to avoid since it’s too sparkly and smiles and unicorns for me.  Plus most of the song I remember is the whole ~chu-lu-lu-li-loo~ parts.  Yeah this is definitely not my kind of song from Aira!

7. Theme of Safari

So far on the album, I really never got the theme of the album quite yet which is a bit unusual but the album’s interlude finally gibes me that safari vision that I though I was going to get initially.  I mean the sounds of animals is quite awesome mixed with a light dance beat and cowbell?  😄  Though the vocal things are Aira and Saori going ~bom bom bom~ in different intervals that sounds like a mindfuck.  Kind of random but fits the image of the cover quite nicely.

9. LAST SONG

At first I was laughing at how ironic the title is since it isn’t the last song on the album.  This is also Saori’s solo and from what I’ve heard it seems that she got the better solo song hands down.  It’s also the first song that screams electro and to be honest this sound like it falls somewhere near her “Domestic domain” stuff and that’s pretty great!  Saori’s breathy vocals fit and she sounds pretty good during the chorus as well.  Pretty damn good song here!

9. Animal Daydream

I’m happy they stuck another safari-like song in Animal Daydream which is another slowish song from the duo.  It actually sounds a lot more enticing and dreamy unlike “DAMAGE”.  It does surprise me that I can remember Aira’s vocals quite a bit more here (then again it was hard to hear Saori since she was singing so quietly).  I wish this had a PV since it would’ve been great to hear them doing that with how unique it sounds.

10. Special LINK

The final song on the album is kind of similar to Aira’s “Plastic Doll” song which is pretty cool because you get Terukado in a more comfortable spot.  Both ladies sing together along this very synthy and bouncy arrangement and once again they sound quite nice together.  Might be a bit of a memory back to the good days and it turned out well ^_^

Tracks Recommended

  • WOWTOWN
  • LAST SONG
  • Special LINK
  • Animal Daydream
  • Discovery

Song of Avoidance

  • DAMAGE

I knew one day that D-topia’s goddesses would get together and release an album as a unit.  For the most part, ×~PARK OF THE SAFARI satisfied my need from both artists.  They do have great songs but also not so good songs as well.  I wouldn’t mind seeing another in the future but who knows if that’ll happen.

 

Aira Mitsuki – ??? November 28, 2010

Filed under: Aira Mitsuki — solarblade @ 6:12 am

Track Listing

  1. TRAIN TRAIN feat. Tamaki ROY
  2. 321
  3. Aishi Aisarete Ikiru no sa
  4. WHY TWO?
  5. rainy tone
  6. Human Future
  7. Rainbow (Limited only) or last love (Regular only)
  8. Paramater
  9. ???
  10. fly
  11. smile
  12. LOVE Re:

??? -single edition nonstop DJ mix-

  1. Aishi Aisarete Ikiru no sa
  2. TRAIN TRAIN feat. Tamaki ROY
  3. Wonder touch
  4. WHY TWO?
  5. Robot Honey

1. TRAIN TRAIN feat. Tamaki ROY

I didn’t think the album would start off immensely quick, but TRAIN TRAIN just moves forward from the first second it starts.  I don’t mind the rather Japanese-y opening since it makes sense with the cover and such, but Tamaki ROY annoys me in this song.  His rapping just doesn’t work with the music and then added the clinking that sound like the ones in “WORLD WILD 2010” and you get a weird mix.  After the meh rap, Aira’s part actually sounds a whole lot better and the chorus is just awesome.  It’s a good start, but ROY has to go period!

2. 321

To me, 321 sounds like a bunch of various songs Aira has done in the past, but the beat is pretty awesome and the verses sounds pretty funky and cool.  It reminds me of a much lighter “HEAT MY LOVE”, but this one comes off as a bit magical and twinkly and it’s so cool.  There is something about the song that feels lacking, but likewise, it’s a cute song.

3. Aishi Aisarete Ikiru no sa

While it hasn’t been quite a while since Aira actually covered a song, (Saori@destiny anyone?) it is the first digital single that was a cover.  Being a cover of Kenji Ozawa’s tune which is like butt old and stuff, Aira’s version definitely gave the tune a much needed facelift.  Once again though, I had a whole lot of “HEAT MY LOVE” running through my mind when I listen to this.  I did like that it was a bit bubbly and less of a techno-pop song and kind of just regular pop.  Aira’s voice singing instead of Kenji’s is also a step up for sure.  It’s alright, but for being one of two promotional songs for the album…it’s kind of lacking.

4. WHY TWO?

Which brings us to the other digital single and promotional track for the album, WHY TWO? is a bit more energetic than “Aishi Aisarete Ikiru no sa” but only a small amount and it’s still pretty damn light of a song.  It’s like a light “Grotesque” if that helps any at all.  Also when I listen to the song, it doesn’t give me a strong promotional feel like “GALAXY BOY” and “Plastic Doll” did.  Ehhhh, it’s ok…

5. rainy tone

Getting back to the new songs on the album, rainy tone is actually Aira’s first interlude ever so it’s great to see a new sound going on.  The problem is is that it’s kind of difficult that Aira’s isn’t fully in the song or maybe she’s in the arrangement somewhere.  Still I thought it was going to be a ballad, but nah a pretty quirky interlude with some cool synth bleeps which is actually a part of “Human Future’s” melody.

6. Human Future

Finally putting some oomph to the album, Human Future couldn’t have come at a better time.  It does give off some pretty strong “PLASTIC”/”6 FORCE” vibes for me and I’m not complaining since it’s catchy and the bleepy melody is super cute and even the piano solos are just as much.  I actually think that Aira’s lisp is slowly being worked on as well since her JPN is getting clearer for me.  Definitely an impressive Shibuya-Kei/Technopop tune from Aira.

7a. Rainbow

Just like with “C.O.P.Y” and “6 FORCE”, the album comes with a different tracklist depending on the version you buy.  The limited version comes with Rainbow and hahaha *insert gay jokes*.  The opening for the song was a bit awkward and well was it really needed???  Either way, Rainbow right now has the most amount of synths so far and it has a great flow to it that made me happy.  It’s like “BARBiE BARBiE” though, but I don’t mind because this went places. 

7b. last love

Since the regular version has this track and it hasn’t leaked, I’m reviewing the long preview.  Going to this track is interesting since it’s one of the more ballad-like tracks off the album.  Still, I found myself kind of being bored since it doesn’t really go anywhere and seems like so off ideas plastered together to make it sound like it did.  Kind of reminds my of “Happiness land” for some reason, but it might just be me.

8. Parameter

After getting out of the confusion of the two version of the album we finally straighten back out and get back to what’s on both starting with Parameter.  I’ve always loved Aira’s harder and more experimental side than her poppier and not-so experimental side and with Parameter, it was like love at first sight with this song since it’s so hard and filled with so much sound that it makes you wonder how the hell it ended up like the way it did.  Then came the song’s primary flaw that really took me out of the song.  If you have read my reviews of a few other artists (capsule, mini, and Aira herself) then you know who Roxanne is by now and THE SAME EXACT RAP MAKES ANOTHER DAMN APPEARANCE…I was totally taken out of the song quite quickly since it showed that Terukado (or whoever produced this) was being terribly lazy here.  Such wasted opportunity.

9. ???

I was kind of hoping that ??? was going to actually surprise and in my luck, it actually happened since the song is amazingly energetic for Aira and is just feels so D&B that it makes me notice that it’s on another level than the other songs presented on the album.  However, most of the song is built around the idea of repetition, but I don’t mind it here since the song is so heavy and filled with multitudes of synths and Aira’s auto-tune/vocoderness. 

10. fly

As we near the end, the last three tracks kind of slide past my ears during first few playthroughs.  Whenever I listen to fly I get deja vu moments of “COSMiC CHOPPER” from the funky bass chords and the whole chilled out vibe I get from it mixed in with smoother vocals from Aira even though she still has the lisp thing going for her.  Still, since I’ve listened to the album a few times (trying to wait for “last love” and all) it’s grown onto me and is one of the cooler tracks off the album.

11. smile

Even though “fly” ended up being one of my favorites from the album, smile is kind of strange to me still.  I mean it’s a bit different from the other songs since it gives off this bossa nova vibe that I don’t really associate with Aira.  Still it kind of is a little underwhelming for some strange reason…it could be the tempo of the song, or the lack of something that makes it pop out.  Ehhh…

12. LOVE Re:

Ending off the album, LOVE Re: is kind of an interesting tune to finish the album off with.  If I’m right, the song is produced by the same guy that produces KARA.  I can see it since the synths are a bit different and the mood is a whole lot more happier and upbeat.  Aira’s vocals also seemed to have been changed for the song, but it’s nothing amazingly noticeable.  The song is catchy in its own right to be honest and well it just flows and sounds better than a good portion of the songs on the album.

??? -single edition nonstop DJ mix-

1. Aishi Aisarete Ikiru no sa

Of course since it’s a D-topia release for Aira there’s always something special that comes with or has something to do with the album.  TSUTAYA Records released a rental disc that has short versions of various songs Aira has done starting with one of the digital singles released in the era.  Aishi Aisarete Ikiru no sa was shortened by two minutes and well let’s be honest, nothing totally changed around much besides the time length. 

2. TRAIN TRAIN feat. Tamaki ROY

I thought the transitioning from “Aishi Aisarete Ikiru no sa” into TRAIN TRAIN was pretty smooth and made the switch kind of obvious since Aira changed into the opening lyrics and into ROY’s rap.  Also cut down two minutes, the time we had with TRAIN TRAIN was short, but it was worth it besides ROY. 

3. Wonder touch

One of two songs that aren’t new in the era, Wonder touch (Originally from “6 FORCE”) makes an appearance.  “TRAIN TRAIN” ends with ROY rapping up until you hear Roxanne once again but under the melody and arrangement of “Parameter” which threw me off for a loop because I thought it was wrong tagging.  It turns out that after the rapping from her, it goes into the familiar melody and Aira starts to sing Wonder touch.  It’s an interesting mashup of two songs and it’s one of the more cooler tunes. 

4. WHY TWO?

Going into the other digital single released in the era, WHY TWO? is actually the shortest tune represented on this disc.  The thing that interested me was that it didn’t totally translate from the last song well (Wonder touch basically faded before getting into this).  Still it’s an alright part of the mix, but a bit too short.

5. Robot Honey

Of all the songs on the mix, Robot Honey was such a surprise since it is the oldest song represented since it’s her 4th single released.  The transition from WHY TWO? to here was a little shaky but there wasn’t a lot you could do since both songs sound so radically different from each other.  I do feel like the arrangement did get worked on so it wouldn’t sound so brash and ear-achy like the single/album version.  Still Robot Honey is one of Aira’s most memorable tunes so lol.

Tracks Recommended

  • ???
  • Human Future
  • fly
  • Rainbow
  • LOVE Re:

Song of Avoidance

  • smile

I’ll say it right now, ??? is definitely Aira’s safest album to date.  She doesn’t really go out of her way to make this album stand out and all and I think that’s the major flaw it has on it.  “C.O.P.Y” and “PLASTIC” were amazing albums because Aira and Terukado tried new ideas and sounds and it worked for the most part.  “6 FORCE” let her stray away and work with Sawagi and that for the most part worked as well.  For ???, it was like she worked with more people, but they didn’t put in much effort like Aira’s past releases and the songs came out safe and mostly not that memorable.  I hope she cleans up after this because I’m not feeling this album much.

 

Aira Mitsuki – 6 FORCE June 7, 2010

Filed under: Aira Mitsuki — solarblade @ 10:58 pm

Track Listing

  1. HEAT MY LOVE
  2. Wonder touch
  3. lie days
  4. display toy (Regular only)
  5. Yellow Submarine (Limited only)
  6. FAKE
  7. LEVEL5
  8. TURKEY
  9. I can’t (TOWER RECORDS Bonus)
  10. Grotesque (HMV Bonus)

1. HEAT MY LOVE

Beginning Aira’s first mini-album, HEAT MY LOVE actually has been known since maybe a few months after “PLASTIC”‘s release.  I found it strange that it was basically the only news from it until the last month or so.  Anyway, HEAT MY LOVE oddly reminds me of a more upbeat “Spring Sky”.  It’s got your typical Terukado sound to it, but there’s something about it that made it catchier than normal.  It’s a pretty good opening track.

2. Wonder touch

I was surprised at how Wonder touch came out.  I mean Terukado here took the rapping verses from capsule’s “the Time is Now” with some extra quips from this “Roxanne”.  As for the song, it goes back into her debut era with the deeper synth drive and funky rhythms.  I’ll admit that I missed this side of Aira and it’s gotten better it seems.  I’ve also noticed Aira’s vocals have also sort of got back to that way as well which is amazing.  I think this is better than “HEAT MY LOVE”.

3. lie days

So of course since this is a D-topia release, there always has to be a ballad and once again I’m finding myself pretty bored with it.  I mean yeah, there’s programmed strings and a real chill sound to it, but c’mon this sounds like a refined version of “Every night heartfull music song” and that was already 1-upped by “distant STARS”.  Let’s just say Terukado’s ballads aren’t great with Aira…her voice isn’t that nice to listen to through that style.

4a. display toy

Now depending on which edition you bought, it comes with a different song.  The regular edition comes with display toy.  Now this song is definitely like the return of songs like “Robot Honey” and “BARBiE BARBiE” since it has that sparkling electropop sound and well they all sound similar to one another and I don’t mind that because of this time, Aira/Terukado and whoever produces the sound made it correct and it doesn’t sound jarring.  I thought it was pretty catchy overall and made me dance!

4b. Yellow Submarine

As for the limited edition, Yellow Submarine takes over and while it does have the leftover “PLASTIC” sound, it’s kind of funky and fresh at the same time and it could be the synth melody.  It seems Aira uses a whole lot of English as well in the song.  It’s prolly got the heaviest beat here.  There’s also some stock vocals present in the song that sound like Aira, but people think it is her and I’m like….Aira doesn’t speak English that well lol.  Still good song!

5. FAKE

Before, all we knew was Aira and Terukado and they were inseperable.  Starting with this mini-album though, Aira has flown from her nest and joined Sawagi (a J-rock/electro fusion band).  Right from the start you’ll feel the total difference from her works with Terukado.  With a guitar/synth melody it makes you wonder how she was capable of taking the stuff that made her good and apply it here.  Though it seems that Aira’s lisp is more obvious sounding, but there’s less vocal manipulating here.  FAKE is nice, but she’s just speaking majority of it and hearing her actually singing with Sawagi supporting would’ve been nicer.  Those parts are nice!

6. LEVEL5

However, I’m definitely giving a trophy to this song.  The dark bass riff really made this song for me and with Aira singing in a pretty mysterious way, it totally worked for me and showed a way better cohesive pair between the two.  Yes, Aira’s lisp definitely has overrided the song at points and the lack of vocoder is still daunting, but I still ended up loving this rock/electro mix-up.  At 6 minutes, it’s a guilty pleasure for me.

7. TURKEY

The last of the Sawagi-produced tracks, TURKEY is just a lulzy title for me.  Compared to the last two tracks, this has the most amount of electro inspiration in it, but at the same time, Aira’s lisp has died down this time and it sounds better almost.  I’m not sure how to really describe the song, but it’s kind of different and yet familiar and that’s always a good thing to have.  It’s a nice tune and ends the mini-album off nicely.

8a. I can’t

So, on specific versions of the mini, you get a special track.  From buying this at TOWER RECORDS, it comes with a cover I can’t which is from Saori’s “WORLD WILD 2010” album which is a surprise!  Hearing this version, Aira’s take sounds like it went up a couple of bars higher than Saori’s take.  I have a bit more trouble hearing Aira’s lyrics because of her lisp and all, but this could’ve been a bit better handled.

8b. Grotesque

So buying the HMV version of the album came with an extra disc containing Grotesque which is of course if you guys remember Saori@destiny’s track off her album “WORLD WILD 2010” as well.  Aira’s version of the song sounds exactly the same arrangement-wise as Saori’s put with Aira’s vocals.  To me that feels sort of like a copout since I think Saori’s is much more cleaner and clearer to listen to.  At least it was a nice try.

*will review the bonus track, “I can’t” when it leaks!!!*  Aira’s first mini-album is more or less a continutation of what we’ve been listening to since the girl debuted, but with a twist!  The five songs Terukado worked on weren’t exactly breaking new ground at this point and was more of a “if it’s that good why change it” kind of attitude for this mini-album.  However, Aira switched things up working with Sawagi and those songs came off pretty good.  Even though Saori’s album is still high and mighty right, Aira’s is a nice listen.  Let’s see what’s in store for the other two new acts from D-topia!

 

Aira Mitsuki – PLASTIC July 26, 2009

Filed under: Aira Mitsuki — solarblade @ 9:08 pm

plastic

Track Listing

  1. Robot Honey
  2. Summeeeeeeeer set (feat. AYUSE KOZUE)
  3. Knee-high Girl
  4. BAD trip (feat. Terukado)
  5. CHANGE MY WILL
  6. HiGH SD Sneaker
  7. distant STARS
  8. Plastic Doll
  9. Sapuri
  10. Natsu Ame (feat. Kuchiroro)
  11. Time is (feat. Shigeo)
  12. Sayonara TECHNOPOLiS
  13. BARBiE BARBiE
  14. Re:†
  15. Spring Sky (TOWER RECORDS Bonus Track)

REMIX CD

  1. BARBiE BARBiE (80kidz rmx)
  2. Summeeeeeeeer set (feat. AYUSE KOZUE (Terukado rmx)
  3. HiGH SD Sneaker (Yuki Saito rmx)
  4. Sayonara TECHNOPOLiS (Traks Boys rmx)
  5. Swallowtail D.A.N.C.E (Cherryboy Function rmx)
  6. China Discotica (Substance rmx)
  7. Robot Honey (Sound Around rmx)
  8. Happiness land (I Am Robot and Proud rmx)

1. Robot Honey

So we begin the album with what started it in the first place, Robot Honey was pretty sweet at first when it was released since it didn’t sound like anything else.  Though after time, it started to grow less on me as it was replaced by other songs and the fact that the song sounded really gritty which is unusual for an Aira song at the time.  I do like she incorporate more electric guitar in the song, but I still don’t enjoy it as much as I did then.  Like one person said, “Kill the mastering operator”, It’s terrible here.

2. Summeeeeeeeer set (feat. AYUSE KOZUE)

It’s awesome to see two of my artists working together.  We got Aira’s special set of vocals mixed with AYUSE’s more cleaner vocals together.  Both are under vocoder BTW so it does make it a little hard to figure them out, but the obvious is there so hahaha.  It does sound a little like something off her last album, but the two gals together made it better for me as it’s pretty bouncy.  Good job!

3. Knee-high Girl

Seriously?  Knee-high Girl over “SAZAE FUNKEDELiC”?  I don’t know, but since it was off of “Robot Honey’s” single, it’s understandable that she was bringing at least one B-side to the album from each single.  Knee-high Girl is definitely a lot more in your face and is one of those tracks that are dependent on the music, rather than the lyrics.  It’s funny that the voice from “Swallowtail D.A.N.C.E” returns here and has a bigger role in the song as well too.  It’s alright, but I’d rather have “SAZAE FUNKEDELiC” instead.  Sadly, it’s another one of the tracks where the mastering sucks completely.

4. BAD trip (feat. Terukado)

I have to say, Terukado knows how to make hardcore tracks.  Though he’s heavily taking what he did to Saori@destiny’s “EZ DO DANCE” and giving them to Aira.  It’s funny because it also worked well in this track.  It’s got more of a good melody unlike Terukado’s last work with Aira “Beep Count Fantastic”. but this song just screams rave right here.  I love it though despite having so many clear ripoffs going on. 

5. CHANGE MY WILL

I do think that CHANGE MY WILL was the best track off her final single of the era and seeing it on here was like duh, we already knew that.  Following after “BAD trip”, I thought this was a pretty sweet idea.  Now this is the song that I thought was to be the next “Beep Count Fantastic” since it’s aggressive and more of the whole repetition in the lyrical sense, but it’s still good.  It just was suck with two bland tracks. 

6. HiGH SD Sneaker

I’m just surprised she didn’t stick all of “Sayonara TECHNOPOLiS’s” tracks on this album since all of it was pure gold.  Unlike the previous tracks, it starts pretty quietly before running into the more energetic trance sound it’s holding.  There’s also more of a tune going on here rather than mindless music which is what I wanted with her more aggressive tracks.  It even tricks people by sounding like it ends, but it explodes back…I though that was amazingly done.  Besides “COSMiC CHOPPER”, this is the best B-side of the era.

7. distant STARS

I’m looking at the album and I’ve already heard the new tracks, so being the lone ballad off the album, distant STARS was easily the better choice between it and “Every night heartfull music song”, even though both are strikingly too similar to one another.  The thing that makes this standout is the fact the beginning sounds muffled, like it’s being played by a record.  After that, the song clears up and stuff.  Actually it does sound like a track Q;indivi would’ve done actually.  It’s nighttime feel and overall calm feel to it. 

8. Plastic Doll

After the barrage of pre-released tracks, we start with the new ones including Plastic Doll which was the main promotional track for this album.  It’s actually a really nice track, giving her a more ethereal arrangement works for sure.  The beginning is like orgasmic to my ears which is so good.  I will say it has some influences from “Yellow Supercar” but they are few and far between and it is the “GALAXY BOY” of the album.

9. Sapuri

Sapuri to me sounds like the oddball off the album because it really sounds like 80’s new-wave or something off of “JAPANESE CHAOS”.  That right there kind of tells me the song just isn’t that good because oddly true.  It might be a new sound Aira is under, but the song lacked something to make it standout.  The mid-tempo is also is another boring thing IMO. 

10. Natsu Ame (feat. Kuchiroro)

I’m clearly trying to understand why Aira is getting weird all of a sudden.  Anywho, Natsu Ame is actually a rearrangement of “Fantasy Candy” off her debut album.  Instead of the cutesy synth-pop from the original it’s giving a jazzy feel or like how Selly says it, bossa-nova vibe.  That is true since the feeling is quite different this time around.  Also the inclusion of Kuchiroro gives it the male touch to it as well.  I myself don’t like the guy since he sounds so boring during his parts.  Strange song though 😄

11. Time is (feat. Shigeo)

Time is is a bit strange as well because it’s like more funky and once again shows versatility in Aira’s favor.  The music definitely sounds new and quite calm as well.  Shigeo’s part fits in a whole lot better than Kuchiroro’s part in “Natsu Ame”.  I do laugh every time that Aira says ~time iszzzu up~ So damn funny.  It could be another quick favorite off the album for me.  OMG, near the end, another WTF moment  happens and I love it 😄

12. Sayonara TECHNOPOLiS

Well, we’re saving her amazing A-side for the late part of the album eh?  I love how different it sounded when it was first released.  Unlike “Robot Honey’s” overload of synth, this track actually takes it lightly and the almost hip-hop sound overall was just crazy cool.  I don’t know, but this could be the best A-side of the year, maybe.  The chorus (though repetitive) was catchy as hell though and the after-chorus bit weird in the transition, but just as catchy.  Wow!

13. BARBiE BARBiE

It does seem better that BARBiE BARBiE is far away from “Robot Honey” on this album.  I mean they both are quite similar (except RH has a more powerful 8-bit sound).  I’m not sure why she chose this to be a single because it doesn’t standout when compared to the other 4 singles in the era (counting “Valentine STEP” and “Aira no Kagaku CD).  It’s just otherwise very stale, even the PV was obviously a rehash of “Robot Honey’s”.

14. Re:†

I don’t know how to even pronounce this, but our final track on the album is oddly the longest track she’s ever done (that isn’t a megamix).  Clocking in at almost 8 and a half minutes, Re:† has a lot of interesting things going on.  I mean the beginning sounded like something Halloween-ish, then Aira comes in a pretty aggressive part.  I can hear a little bit of JUSTICE and I wondered if she worked with them on this track.  It’s quite epic for being such a long track.  There’s this guy in it and he’s sounds so creepy and Aira’s quips too…one of her standout tracks for sure.

15. Spring Sky

Released as a bonus track on a seperate CD ala “L0ne1yBoy L0ne1yGirl”, Spring Sky is a TOWER RECORD’s exclusive and sad it is because once again, just like the previous track, it’s another song that sounds so good that why she didn’t put it on the album in the first place is baffling.  It does sound like a more danceable track off of “C.O.P.Y” and the song’s heavier bass sound is so good.  It’s funny that I do get a sense of spring in the song and Aira’s echoed vocals are a nice welcome.  Shame, it’s that good.

REMIX CD

1. BARBiE BARBiE (80kidz rmx)

So our first of three new remixes, BARBiE BARBiE gets a remix from 80kidz who’s getting some notice around the electro community.  I actually think it’s the more interesting choice for them to remix it as has only parts from the chorus playing around most of the time and even though that can be annoying, the music is pretty good which is a first since Aira doesn’t have many “good” remixes. 

2. Summeeeeeeeer set (feat. AYUSE KOZUE (Terukado rmx)

I’m kind of surprised they didn’t remix “Plastic Doll” instead, but what we have here.  Taking the summery track and morphed it into some good, heavy techno sound.  Summeeeeeeeer Set was a good choice from Terukado to remix (though, does that mean AYUSE do the original?).  On here it doesn’t really sound like the other remixes, rather a more important track.  Good song, all-around.

3. HiGH SD Sneaker (Yuki Saito rmx)

The last of our new remixes, HiGH SD Sneaker comes raring its head on the remix cd.  Ehhhhh, I’m not sure it I’m liking this remix as it takes out the aggressive nature of the original and kind of throws parts of the song to a pretty wacky arrangement that sounds a bit all over the place.  Maybe it’s the point of it, but it’s the worst of the 3 new remixes.

4. Sayonara TECHNOPOLiS (Traks Boys rmx)

The remaining remixes come from previous singles/album.  Sayonara TECHNOPOLiS comes first and I love how begins with Aira repeating the chorus over and over and listen as the music gradually gets louder and louder.  By the time Aira gets into the other vocal parts, Half the song has already gone by.  I do love the harder edge this remix brought and after getting used to it from the single, it’s one of my favorite remixes in the list of em. 

5. Swallowtail D.A.N.C.E. (Cherryboy function rmx)

Wait, why do we have an album track on the remix CD?  I mean everyone remembers this track being the funky one on “C.O.P.Y”.  I’m pretty sure there’ll be an original version one day…Anyway the song definitely brings back the edgier sound found on her last album and it’s still one of the best new tracks off her debut album.  I love how the synths are like bouncy and erratic altogether at the same time.  Even better is the parts Aira and the other voice has, it’s awesome.  Whatever, it’s crazy good.

6. China Discotica (Substance rmx)

I’m not sure why I’m reviewing this a 3rd time, but here we go again.  Being the earliest remix of the CD, China Discotica does sound a little bit electro-poppish compared to the others here.  Instead of the crazy and random original version, the Substance remix takes the song into like i said, electropop sounds and even though Aira is singing a good portion, it doesn’t stand to the original.

7. Robot Honey (Sound Around rmx)

I barely remembered this remix from said single at all.  Unlike the crazy mastering fail of the original, the song sounds a whole lot better with this remix as it doesn’t make horrible strides to cut apart the song.  It actually takes out the 8-bit sounds, kept the electric guitar parts and Sound Around added their own flavor into the track and I thought it was way better than the original IMO. 

8. Happiness land (I am Robot and Proud rmx)

Another track I have to review a third time? WTF?!  I swear one more time and I’m going to shoot someone.  Anyways, the track is a more refined and upbeat take on the closest thing to a ballad on “C.O.P.Y”.  I think I prefer the original though as it has the right set of mind while this takes a more joyous route, but this isn’t that bad either.  I just wished, like I said the last time, it didn’t end so randomly like it did, definitely left me wanting a lot more.

Tracks Recommended

  • Sayonara TECHNOPOLiS
  • Plastic Doll
  • Swallowtail D.A.N.C.E. (Cherryboy function rmx)
  • Time is (feat Shigeo)
  • Spring Sky

Song of Avoidance

  • Natsu Ame feat. Kuchiroro (PLASTIC)
  • HiGH SD Sneaker (Yuki Kaito rmx) (Remix CD)

Let’s talk about the album first.  For being Aira’s sophomore album, she did actually quite well with what she was given and it came out really good.  I did have problems with tracks and their mastering even more so than I did back on “C.O.P.Y”.  A few tracks sounded really out of line and gave me headaches.  Now taking the headphones off, it’s actually a pretty good album.  I think she would’ve benefitted more if she had put “Valentine STEP” and “Science Music” because both were so experimental just like a good portion of the album was and I love Aira for doing that.

Now the remix album was kind of an odd choice to really go forth with.  8 tracks though isn’t really worth it when 5 tracks are previously released remixes.  Maybe 2 more new remixes would’ve soften the blow, but c’mon this was just not that smart of a plan.  Honestly, she should’ve stuck “Natsu Ame” here instead of the album IMO.

Now, my thoughts on the Aira vs. Perfume deal?  Since Triangle and PLASTIC are their “2nd” album, I felt that Perfume did a better job going in the direction they were meaning to go as their songs were more synth-pop more than anything (and IMO get some slower songs,so they won’t have an overload of dance tracks).  Aira’s album however is a bit more underground electro which is basically what she was going for anyways so she tops on that lane.  Sales-wise is obvious.  As a total package, Aira definitely won.  I mean the album had more tracks, a remix CD, an extra track if bought from TOWER, and a DVD with ALL OF HER PV’S….Perfume’s was just pathetic compared to this….So in the end, I think Aira is having her year.