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AKB48 – Kibouteki Refrain September 28, 2015

Filed under: AKB48 — solarblade @ 2:47 pm

kiboutekirefrain

Track Listing

  1. Kibouteki Refrain
  2. Ima, Happy (Baragumi) (Type-A  & Theater edition only)
  3. Juujun na Slave (Team A) (Type-A only)
  4. Ambulance (Yurigumi) (Type-B only)
  5. Hajimete no Drive (Team K) (Type-B only)
  6. Utaitai (Cattleya-gumi) (Type-C only)
  7. Loneliness Club (Team B) (Type-C only)
  8. Seifuku no Hane (Team 8) (Type-D only)
  9. Me wo Aketa Mama no First Kiss (Team 4) (Type-D only)
  10. Kaze no Rasen (Kojizaka48) (Type-D only)
  11. Reborn (Team Surprise) (Theater edition only)
  12. Kibouteki Refrain off vocal ver.
  13. Ima, Happy off vocal ver.
  14. Juujun na Slave off vocal ver.
  15. Ambulance off vocal ver.
  16. Hajimete no Drive off vocal ver.
  17. Utaitai off vocal ver.
  18. Loneliness Club off vocal ver.
  19. Seifuku no Hane off vocal ver.
  20. Me wo Aketa Mama no First Kiss off vocal ver.
  21. Kaze no Rasen off vocal ver.
  22. Reborn off vocal ver.

1. Kibouteki Refrain

Another upbeat A-side huh AKB?  At least the energy from Kibouteki Refrain is nice enough and the girls sound melodically stronger when singer together.  I do feel this anison-esque arrangement to be popping for me and the chorus is actually decent here with the call/response style.  Though I could say it slightly reminds me of “Heavy Rotation” although not as exciting.  Still, with the other A-sides of this era, this is actually pretty good otherwise.

2. Ima, Happy

Seems like the B-sides this time brings out the -gumi groups and Teams, splitting them between the multiple editions.  First is the Baragumis and Ima, Happy is pretty cutesy as they go, but due to the rather meh vocals, the song does feel like they rather phoned this one in (although there’s some cool parts like the second verse) and the synths is rather game-y which is neat too!  Might not be memorable, but I think it’s just OK.

3. Juujun na Slave

Team A is up next with Juujun na Slave and I was rather surprised by the cool vibe here which is something I’ve missed from the group.  Despite the ladies are under auto-tune, the dance arrangement and lower vocal ranges here are REALLY nice and refreshing!  I’m loving the song funny enough and reminds me of the cooler songs in their collection (AKB not so much Team A XD).

4. Ambulance

Yurigumi’s song kicks off with this weird random English hook line and the song becomes this funky-sounding tune which in a way sounds different but also feels muddled and kind of gross (especially since the chorus lacks punch overall).  Meh song overall.

5. Hajimete no Drive

Team K is next and I wasn’t expecting much as there’s not a lot of songs from the Team I enjoy.  Hajimete no Drive might be the slight exception due to it actually being a mid-tempo track.  Though I could do without the strange pipe organ making things awkward and older than it needs to be.  I do love that there’s a lot of solo lines (but I couldn’t tell ya who’s who hahah).  Nice song though.

6. Utaitai

If I can recall, Cattleya-gumi is a newer -gumi group (which only complicates my figuring out these sub-groups).  Of the three, Cattleya’s sounds like it has the most effort put into it due to it’s a ballad and opens up with a pretty orchestral sound.  It’s a nice sounding song and the chorale feel of it adds up (although there is one girl who sounds a bit like a duck in certain harmonies).  Other than that mishap, it’s a nice track.

7. Loneliness Club

Then we enter Team B’s song and it almost sounds like a fusion between “Utaitai” and acoustic guitars which is pretty unfortunate considering they’re on the same edition of the single.  The strings are nice though and seeing them kind of flow in between wavy synths add something interesting, but this song’s melody could be compared to other AKB ballads in the worst way.

8. Seifuku no Hane

Then we come to Team 8’s song and of course it sounds like any other previous B-side from AKB singles with the guitars, synths, beats, and cutesy vocals.  These kind of songs really kill my interest in the group because the girls don’t put any emotions into their song so the tune just falls flat and makes me think less of the producers each time…yeah…boring and trite as shit.

9. Me wo Aketa Mama no First Kiss

At least Team 4’s contribution is a little more exciting taking the latin route and I kind of love it because it adds spice and interest.  Team 4 vocally is actually decent and there’s a nice light sexy tone to it that caught my attention.  It does kind of remind me of Morning Musume’s “Iroppoi Jirettai” just not as heavy on the latin flair.  So it’s OK.

10. Kaze no Rasen

Though Type-D does come with a 3rd B-side with Kaze no Rasen by Kojizaka48 (thank you for the name Haruna Kojima).  Sadly, the song like “Seifuku no Hane” doesn’t really stand out on the single and the vocals are just subpar at best.  It sounds really familiar though like there was an A-side that EXACTLY sounds like this, but I can’t put a finger on it.

11. Reborn

So finally on Theater editions, we get a track in Reborn from Team Surprise (a surprise they haven’t disbanded yet).  I do think its heavy anison sound is good, but once agan those chords just scream laziness.  Meh song, unfortunately I know it’ll be on the album which disappoints me further.

 

 

Closing the era out, Kibouteki Refrain as a whole is probably their best release, I think.  Kibouteki Refrain is actually a good A-side and doesn’t stick to the usual formula they’ve been following in forever.  Of the B-sides though, the only ones to listen to are Juujun na Slave, Utaitai, and Me wo Aketa Mama no First Kiss.  The others are just bland entries with nothing totally memorable about them…This album is shaping up to be really forgettable though.

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AKB48 – Kokoro no Placard September 7, 2014

Filed under: AKB48 — solarblade @ 12:12 am

kokoronoplacard

Track Listing

  1. Kokoro no Placard
  2. Dareka ga Nageta Ball (Under Girls)
  3. Hitonatsu no Hankouki (Next Girls) (Type-A only)
  4. Seikaku ga Warui Onna no Ko (Future Girls) (Type-B only)
  5. Chewing Gum no Aji ga Nakunaru Made (Upcoming Girls) (Type-C only)
  6. Sailor Zombie (Milk Planet) (Type-D only)
  7. Oshiete Mommy (Type-D only)
  8. 47 no Suteki na Machi e (Team 8) (Theater Edition only)
  9. Kokoro no Placard 1half
  10. Kokoro no Placard off vocal ver.
  11. Dareka ga Nageta Ball off vocal ver.
  12. Hitonatsu no Hankouki off vocal ver.
  13. Seikaku ga Warui Onna no Ko off vocal ver.
  14. Chewing Gum no Aji ga Nakunaru Made off vocal ver.
  15. Sailor Zombie off vocal ver.
  16. Oshiete Mommy off vocal ver.
  17. 47 no Suteki na Machi e off vocal ver.

1. Kokoro no Placard

So kicking this single off, we start with the Senbatsu song, Kokoro no Placard and Mayuyu is actually leading the song as she won the tournament.  After the pleasant and surprisingly nice “Labrador Retriever”, I wasn’t expecting this song to be so sacchrine and goofy.  The arrangement is something different (considering how bland Akimoto songs can get).  To be honest, it’s a little forgetful to me despite the rather interesting arrangement.  Something feels missing here and the ~wai-ya-ya-yai~ is stupid sounding lol.  I don’t know but this song is lacking (like previous Senbatsu singles).

2. Dareka ga Nageta Ball

All editions come with this B-side too coming from the Under Girls.  Dareka ga Nageta Ball seems to be the typical Akimoto arrangement but a little more classical sounding?  I don’t know what it is but I found this grouping of ladies sound rather monotone though melodically together ironically.  Once they throw in the electric guitar in the chorus, I was basically done with this song…very poor for me.

3. Hitonatsu no Hankouki

Then comes the edition only songs starting with the Next Girls.  I’m actually already enjoying this song a LOT more than the previous two because it has a darker touch and the mix of harpischord and some dance beats is kind of cool.  I do wish they had kept away from making the son sound happier than it should to be honest.  Also, the voices do sound monotone as well in various parts of the song.  It isn’t so bad, but definitely not at the top.

4. Seikaku ga Warui Onna no Ko

Future Girls are up next and their song sounds kind of familiar to “Dareka ga Nageta Ball” with the pop with strings though this one has a little more stronger pop/rock effects to kind of try to stand up on the single.  Sadly, it’s also another song that just doesn’t stand out.  At least the group doesn’t sound bored here and the dance beats is a nice touch…a smidge better than the Under Girls’ track.

5. Chewing Gum no Aji ga Nakunaru Made

Finally, we have the Upcoming Girls (seriously isn’t that almost too similar to Next Girls?).  Now if I have to say anything, Chewing Gum no Aji ga Nakunaru Made sounds REALLY familiar but I can’t seem to place my finger on what song (maybe a faster-paced “Labrador Retriever?”  Really though, it’s another song that just kind of turns to white noise almost instantly.  It’s a lot like “Seikaku ga Warui Onna no Ko” once it enters to its main melody and instrumentation as well.  This was extremely bland for the grouping.

6. Sailor Zombie

Type-D gets two B-sides that none of the other editions get.  Sung by Milk Planet (a mini-group of Karen Iwata, Yui Yokoyama, and Mayu Watanabe), Sailor Zombie starts off quite dark and foreboding before cutting that all out and turning it into another bland offering on the single.  Most of the time in the track, you hear Mayuyu’s voice over the other two and it does make sense (Senbatsu winner and all).  I was liking the solo lines though, definitely was liking and those parts were the most interesting of the entire song…otherwise the rest just did nothing…I will say it’s the best from the single, but that’s not saying much.

7. Oshiete Mommy

While there isn’t a name for this grouping (6 members involved, one was Mayuyu of course).  Unlike “Sailor Zombie” which sounded full, I felt like Oshiete Mommy sounding like it was lacking a stronger beat.  There’s a lot more solo lines to be found here and it sounds like all 6 members involved had a good line or two here.  Though I just kind of wished the chorus stood out more.  *sigh*

8. 47 no Suteki na Machi e

So finally we come to the Theater edition release (AKA the song that’ll be on their next album) and we get a track from Team 8 (I think that’s new?)  Actually it’s a pretty huge group with only Yui Yokoyama as the only name I know.  Sadly, their song is also another bland offering with the Akimoto streak of uselessness available.  Upbeat, straightforward sound, monotone voices, and synth horns…yeah it’s that bad and forgetful…add on that I don’t know the voices (which there are no solos) this song is just very zzzzzz.

 

 

I thought we were going in the right direction after “Mae Shika Mukanee” and “Labrador Retriever” but the Senbatsu single flopped heavily for me.  There is not one song that I particularly cared for here as they all were generic messes of previous songs.  The only worthwhile song is Sailor Zombie but even then that’s stretching.  I honestly hope their “cool” single will be at least decent…but I can’t even get behind the group much longer (please slap Akimoto to actually put some effort to AKB).

 

AKB48 – Labrador Retriever June 16, 2014

Filed under: AKB48 — solarblade @ 3:39 am

labradorretriever

Track Listing

  1. Labrador Retriever
  2. Kyou Made no Melody
  3. Kimi wa Kimagure (Team A) (Type A only)
  4. Itoshiki Rival (Team K) (Type K only)
  5. B Garden (Team B) (Type B only)
  6. Heart no Dasshutsu Game (Team 4) (Type 4 only)
  7. Futari wa Dekiteru (Theater edition only)
  8. Labrador Retriever off vocal ver.
  9. Kyou Made no Melody off vocal ver.
  10. Kimi wa Kimagure off vocal ver.
  11. Itoshiki Rival off vocal ver.
  12. B Garden off vocal ver.
  13. Heart no Dasshutsu Game off vocal ver.
  14. Futari wa Dekiteru off vocal ver.

1. Labrador Retriever

As the group’s next A-side, Labrador Retriever seemed so weird to me because the tune sounds like something made in the 70s (especially with the way the arrangement sounded).  I don’t know why but I don’t find this song increasingly terrible like the previous ones they released.  I actually find this one pleasant to listen to and it could be from the nod to those oldies and nostalgic days which made it work.  Plus the melody is nice to listen to.  Prolly my favorite one since “UZA” to be honest.  BTW, a song titled after a dog breed and it’s a summer single?  Interesting…

2. Kyou Made no Melody

The main B-side was set for Yuko Oshima who was graduating from the group so she got her song.  I wasn’t surprised that the song was more toned down and set in a more graduation-ish feel.  Yuko’s voice sounds cute and soothing and as she is the main vocalist here, she gave a nice performance while the other girls are background support.  I think I like this a lot too, simplistic but not boring.

3. Kimi wa Kimagure

So the split songs are by Teams again starting with Team A of course!  Kimi wa Kimagure starts off nicely with a beat and dance style but still in the AKB-sound.  I am a little surprised by the male background vocals, but the song is kind of cute but a little basic in a way.  At least it’s passable and I’m sure I’ll enjoy it with more listens!

4. Itoshiki Rival

Team K gets the cool song huh?  The dramatic strings and the cool guitar melody already shows that they got some effort here.  Also, the song exudes a darker goth feel more than other songs and I really love the tone and the way girls share lines here with Jurina and Sayaka leading this one.  Despite the chorus being a little emotionless, I think it was meant to be that way this time around.  It’s definitely my favorite amongst the Team songs in recent times.

5. B Garden

Finally, we get to Team B’s song, B Garden and like I’ve said before, they get the cuter songs between the Teams.  After all the previous songs of the last 4-5 singles, B Garden here just kind of killed it’s interest on me.  At least the effort seems to be higher because there’s some interest from the ladies and there’s fun quips here and there.  If I had to say, it is better than those messes from before, but it’s still a weak track amongst the other songs on the single.

6. Heart no Dasshutsu Game

Even Team 4 gets a song and a single edition too.  However, it’s the worst of the single.  Of what I talked about above with “B Garden” is in reality here.  The arrangement is tired and bland and while the chanting is something that keeps the song from being downright terrible, it just doesn’t stand out to me besides being a repear of MANY other AKB songs.

7. Futari wa Dekiteru

Wow, no Kenkyuusei song this time around?  Nope, the theater editions get a solo track from Kojiharu and Kenji Kitagawa (yeah the ___48 fans should know who this is at the least).  The sexy saxophone opening just swayed me in a good way here and I was enjoying where this song was heading.  Haruna just sounds pretty as well as Kenji’s deep vocals…it was a great duet between the two.

 

 

Is it surprising that I actually like this single a lot?  Labrador Retriever is one of their nicest A-sides they’ve had in a while!  Something about it’s nostalgic 70’s sound just kind of wooed me.  Then we have Yuko’s Kyou Made no Melody which sounded great for her and a good sendoff song and honestly Itoshiki Rival and Futari wa Dekiteru were also awesome songs to have around too.  Kimi wa Kimagure is close but it somewhat has a stale sound….however B Garden was kind of sacchrine for me and Heart no Dasshutsu Game was just generic as hell.  Still 4/7 were great! and it’s been a while since that has happened!

 

AKB48 – Mae Shika Mukanee May 16, 2014

Filed under: AKB48 — solarblade @ 7:26 am

maeshikamukanee

Track Listing

  1. Mae Shika Mukanee
  2. Kinou Yori Motto Suki (Smiling Lions)
  3. Kimi no Uso wo Shitteita (Beauty Giraffes) (Type A only)
  4. Himitsu no Diary (Baby Elephants) (Type B only)
  5. KONJO (Talking Chimpanzees) (Type C only)
  6. Koi to ka… (Theater Editions only)
  7. Mae Shika Mukanee off vocal ver.
  8. Kinou Yori Motto Suki off vocal ver.
  9. Kimi no Uso wo Shitteita off vocal ver.
  10. Himitsu no Diary off vocal ver.
  11. KONJO off vocal ver.
  12. Koi to ka… off vocal ver.

1. Mae Shika Mukanee

So we’re on the Senbatsu single huh?  Man I can never get myself into these very well lol.  Mae Shika Mukanee is another pop/rock affair and I’m not the biggest fan of these songs very much.  Not even “Heart Ereki” could really do much to change it.  This song might be one of the better ones, but it’s still not really up there to really save them any skin.  It’s just not my kind of song.

2. Kinou Yori Motto Suki

The remainder of the single features grouping by animals (which I really don’t get where this all came about).  As the B-side found on all editions, Kinou Yori Motto Suki is well kind of run-of-the-mill but at least it kind of has somewhat an engaging arrangement and the guitars are nice.  It’s still somewhat plain though.

3. Kimi no Uso wo Shitteita

Type A’s track actually has a bit more life into it when compared to the previous track for sure.  I really liked the arrangement for some reason and the girls has a bit more emotions running here which is another reason why I enjoyed this song a lot.  It’s definitely my favorite off the single!

4. Himitsu no Diary

Type B’s get the cutesy Himitsu no Diary which once again just by arrangement, seems better than “Kinou Yori Motto Suki”.  Sadly the song is still kind of bland and lacks something for me (plus, their pronunciation ALMOST sounds like diarrhea)…take that as you will, but this song isn’t working.

5. KONJO

Type C gets KONJO and honestly, the synths perked my ears up to pay attention and honestly, it surpasses “Kimi no Uso wo Shitteita” because I’m just digging a lot with this song.  This could’ve been a great Autumn A-side for the group. Could’ve used a little bit of a tempo boost, but this is a pretty cool song for the single!

6. Koi to ka…

Oh a theater edition that doesn’t include the Kenkyuusei getting  their own track!  Not surprised though that it’s a ballad.  Not sure if there’s really anything meaningful for it, but this song is kind of bland and vanilla for my tastes.  I mean it’s OK, but it doesn’t really leave much of an impression besides being a Aki.P ballad.

 

 

After their last single (with the mortifying long title) and their 3rd album, they come out with Mae Shika Mukanee and this single is kind of better than their last couple of singles!  I mean yeah, Mae Shika Mukanee is bland and kind of a “Heart Ereki” ripoff and Kinou Yori Motto Suki & Koi to ka… are just boring as hell.  The rest of the single is a win.  Kimi no Uso wo Shitteita is somber but really interesting to hear and Himitsu no Diary while lyrically hilarious as a nice arrangement…but KONJO was the winner here…has all the right elements to have been one.  However, there’s one thing I wanna say….STOP USING THE OTHER GIRLS FROM OTHER 48 GROUPS!!!!…If you wanna push them that’s fine but keep it out of AKB and let those forgotten AKB girls have a decent chance….AKI STOP BEING SHADY!!!!!!!~

 

AKB48 – Tsugi no Ashiato April 15, 2014

Filed under: AKB48 — solarblade @ 4:28 am

????

Track Listing

  1. Koisuru Fortune Cookie
  2. LOVE Shugyou
  3. Sayonara Crawl
  4. Tsuyoi Hana
  5. Ano Hi no Fuurin
  6. Eien Pressure
  7. Aozora Café
  8. UZA
  9. Kimi no Tame ni Boku wa…
  10. Watashitachi no Reason
  11. So long!
  12. Gingham Check
  13. Manatsu no Sounds good!
  14. Otona e no Michi
  15. Chireba Ii no ni… (Theater Edition only)

CD2 (Type A only)

  1. After rain
  2. Gugutasu no Sora
  3. Boy Hunt no Houhou Oshiemasu
  4. JJ ni Karitamono
  5. Shower no Ato Dakara
  6. 10 Krone to Pan
  7. Kakushin ga Moterumono
  8. Team Saka
  9. Tsuyosa to Yowasa no Aida de
  10. Boku wa Ganbaru
  11. Eien Yori Tsuzuku You ni

CD2 (Type B only)

  1. Smile Kamikakushi
  2. Taningyougi na Sunset beach
  3. Haste to Waste
  4. Watashi Leaf
  5. Stoic na Bigaku
  6. Ponkotsu Blues
  7. Ichi Ni no San
  8. Kyouhansha
  9. Douki
  10. Kanashiki Kinkyori Ren’ai
  11. Yume no Kawa

1. Koisuru Fortune Cookie

I love that AKB opened the album with one of the more popular songs the group released back in 2013.  Koisuru Fortune Cookie isn’t totally something that stands out, but the song is cute and has a fun dance to go along with it.  I will say that it took a while for it stick on me, but nowadays it’s just an earworm of a song.  Maybe it could’ve been a bit more energetic, but hey what we got isn’t totally bad.

2. LOVE Shugyou

Like their previous album, “1830m”, all of the Theater only songs make the album cut.  This one came from “Sayonara Crawl” and when I reviewed the single, the song was not standing out to me and kind of had a generic sound to it.  Hearing it today again, the song has made a little more of an impact.  The song still to me suffers from non-emotional vocals and the arrangement is more or less what I’ve heard before from AKB since I first started listening to them.  I guess it’s the best of the KKS songs, but that’s not saying much.

3. Sayonara Crawl

Following that is the A-side XD.  Sayonara Crawl is a good reason where I felt like the group’s music was becoming surprisingly stale.  As the 6th A-side before the album, Sayonara Crawl has a lot of my issues that I have with “LOVE Shugyou” present, but the vocals are a lot more alive and bright.  I will say the song though also has seemingly grown on me more than aforementioned track.  I think it’s because the chorus actually was nicer sounding to me now lol.  Damnit!

4. Tsuyoi Hana

We get another KKS song, this time from “So long!”.  I will say that I love the opening for the song giving us a little bit of a waltz-y kind of setting.  Actually I totally forgot about this song, but I actually loved this song because it was different and the Kenkyuusei sounded pleasant alongside the pretty arrangement…hmmm…maybe this is the best KKS song here.

5. Ano Hi no Fuurin

Then here’s the Theater only track from “Gingham Check” sung by the Waiting Girls (who I thought was the same as the KKS, but was wrong).  As the album’s first ballad, Ano Hi no Fuurin sounds like the eponymous big group of ladies singing together in unison.  The arrangement is pretty basic, so I was kind of bored after a while.

6. Eien Pressure

I remember this because this was the single that brought Paruru to the foreground from the group.  She was the lead voice in the song and was the first voice you heard.  Her voice was quite squeaky though XD.  I was quite underwhelmed with the song.  Even today, the song doesn’t seem to do much for me as it sounds more like a B-side more than anything else.

7. Aozora Café

Moving to the track from “Koisuru Fortune Cookie”, Aozora Café is another song from the KKS.  Back on the single review, I thought it was better than “LOVE Shugyou”, but honestly it’s reversed now.  I mean the synth horns are basically a given which I’ve complained about numerous time being hokey and cheap (especially since Akimoto loves to use them).  I just didn’t find anything particularly interesting (maybe the guitar solos).

8. UZA

It’s really weird coming to the group’s 3rd A-side released for the era seeing as it’s the greatest thing on this album to be quite honest.  I mean it’s a fierce song and it’s one of my favorite Autumn singles the group has put out.  It’s dark, energetic and has such a cool PV to go with it.  It just makes me wonder why AKB can’t be more like this more often because these are the songs I would love AKB to tackle and just own more than stuff like “Eien Pressure” or “Gingham Check” (or basically the rest of the A-sides that came out for this album).

9. Kimi no Tame ni Boku wa…

Moving to the B-side from “Manatsu no Sounds good!”, I have a hard time remembering stuff from singles that were before “UZA” so it’s like a fresh listen again.  I was happy to see it making the cut because it seems I liked it from the single.  On the album, Kimi no Tame ni Boku wa… is upbeat and since it only features 8 of the ladies, it brought a nicer tone and it just worked.  Good choice!

10. Watashitachi no Reason

Coming from “Eien Pressure”, Watashitachi no Reason was a song I was her nor there for.  There was a butt-ton of members involved in this song and it just baffled me.  To me, it sounds pretty plain and non-eventful of a song.  I don’t know it’s a lot like how I feel about “Aozora Café” down to the cool guitar lines.

11. So long!

I totally forgot how this song had sounded (even though it was the last single I reviewed before going into my hiatus) so I suppose it makes sense.  So long! is the group’s Sakura single and while it tried to impress me, I felt it to be somewhat cheesy and forgettable.  Meh…

12. Gingham Check

As the 2nd single released for the album, Gingham Check was another song that just felt almost tiresome and lacked any real effort behind it.  It’s even more bland than “So long!” and that was boredom on a stick…this just felt like crap and Akimoto’s want for a B-side to be an A-side.

13. Manatsu no Sounds good!

As the only single that came before “1830m” but got place onto the album after, Manatsu no Sounds good! was a rather interesting song to me.  I mean, the song isn’t totally anything special, but the PV caught my eye and the song actually had a little more effort with dealing with the arrangement.  It’s a rather fun song from them even though there’s better.

14. Otona e no Michi

The final two tracks are actually sung by the Kenkyuusei.  Otona e no Michi was from “UZA”.  Of the KKS songs on the album, Otona e no Michi might be the sappiest tracks here.  I thought it was alright but some of the vocals did seem a bit off here.  Fitting as the closing for the first disc, but still not all that amazing.

15. Chireba Ii no ni…

Though on Theater editions of the album, we get a bonus track which is sung by the KKS as well.  Chireba Ii no ni… is another ballad as well which might not bode well since it comes after “Otona e no Michi”.  It’s a bit less contrived and a little more original in arrangement by having piano and bass with acoustic guitar.  Overall, it’s a better song at least and nice enough to close the first disc (on its singular edition its from).

CD2 (Type A)

1. After rain

Opeing to CD2 for the Type A release of the album, After rain immediately kills my spark right from the beginning with those synth horns and that overly saccharine sound that just is so typical AKB.  I mean there could be something more to the song, but at the moment it’s just falling face first for me.  I will say that towards the end, the song does slightly get better, but the first half just rolls by me.

2. Gugutasu no Sora

Seems like on both of the second discs, it has two songs that were found on singles.  Gugutasu no Sora is originally from “Manatsu no Sounds good!” and of the four songs chosen, I was curious to why this one was making the album cut.  I will say the girls chosen to sing here are ones that I usually never get to hear.  This is just as forgetful as the previous song, but at least “After rain” had a good chorus going for it…meh.

3. Boy Hunt no Houhou Oshiemasu

Most of the songs on this disc are seperated by mini-pairings between members.  the first is between Sasshi, Paruru, Kizaki, and Yagura and from the beginning, the song is really catered to more of the cutesy crowd.  The four voices sound good together (and similar).  It’s a basic tune, but I kind of liked it, but once again, the guitar solo is just the thing that stands out the most.

4. JJ ni Karitamono

Sung by 6 of the members: Umeda, Kitahara, Kuromochi, Takayanagi, Yamada (oh hi ex-H!P member), and Takamina!  I was pleasantly surprised the song wasn’t your atypical AKB song but had a little more depth to it and a stronger beat (and guitar solo) plus the girls chosen seem to have a deeper tone which helped a lot!  Definitely an early favorite from this disc, hope there’s more.

5. Shower no Ato Dakara

Oooh a song sung by Rena, Kojiharu, and Yukirin comes next.  I like the intro for the song being a little different and yet very Akimoto-ish.  It’s got a stronger amount of synths.  Though what I wasn’t expecting the trio to sing in such a whispery, breathy voice.  To be honest, I have dejavu to SDN48’s “GAGAGA” with this type of singing.  It’s definitely a unique song to the album, so I admire it for that, but otherwise…you might as well just call it “GAGAGA” pt. 2.

6. 10 Krone to Pan

So the next song is sung by Kodama, Fujie, Furuhata, Yamamoto, and Yokoyama and it starts off with a metronome and a darker setting which is a good change for me lol.  Like “JJ ni Karitamono”, the voices here are also of ladies who sing better in a lower tone and I quite liked this song too.  It could’ve used a little more bass behind the song, but overall this is also up there.

7. Kakushin ga Moterumono

Team A comes in with their track, Kakushin ga Moterumono and unfortunately is also the return with guitars mixed with piano and trumpets.  I don’t know why but this is just too bland for my listen and sounds like a possible A-side that was turned down lol.  It just didn’t do anything for me and I simply passed it up.

8. Team Saka

On the flipside we get a new Team 4 track.  At least the voices in Team 4 are a lot easier to handle than in “Kakushin ga Moterumono” but the music is still quite as generic as it gets.  It’s a bright song for all its worth, but yeah….only a smidge better than the previous track but still isn’t doing anything for me.

9. Tsuyosa to Yowasa no Aida de

Oh, so now we’re getting Sayanee’s graduation song yet it wasn’t featured on “Koisuru Fortune Cookie”? ok…I really approve of the intro with the kind of wail from the guitar.  Sayanee’s voice sounds so good in this ballad and just was a nice song!  Then the other vocals come in and I’m kind of like meh…  I think when it was the solos going on, it was pretty good, but together…it sounded messy.  I’ll probably get over it though.

10. Boku wa Ganbaru

Then comes a song from some of the more recognizable members, unfortunately their song is another one of those songs that gets forgotten as it has an arrangement that we’ve all heard before.  Yeah, I just can’t seem to remember anything about this song.

11. Eien Yori Tsuzuku You ni

Remember OKL48 from “Eien Pressure?”  If not, they were a one-time unit that was made as a kind of a goofy group alongside Takashi Okamura (comedian).  The song without its lulzy PV does make this song sound generic like a couple of the other songs, but it’s still a fun with the PV.  It’s all right, but there was better.  Odd choice to close the Type A second disc though.

CD2 (Type-B)

1. Smile Kamikakushi

The Type B second disc begins with a new track from Tentoumu Chu! which is their 3rd track known.  At least it opens this disc on a nice note despite once again not being totally original here.  The vocals are pleasant at least and the piano/guitar melody isn’t too straightforward.  Fitting!

2. Taningyougi na Sunset beach

So Ota, Suda, Yamauchi, and Milky get a song and Taningyougi na Sunset beach at first had potential about it, but the song started to wear off on me a bit.  I mean I like the latin flair about it, but if you took that it and left the vocal melody it wouldn’t have stuck out a bit.  I suppose it’s OK at best, but not the best.

3. Haste to Waste

Ahhh the song that’s sung by the “dumb” girls BKA48.  This song, coming from “Sayonara Crawl”, It’s funny to see another song to feature a lot of familiar faces here and Rina getting most of the lines as she did the worst is hilarious (or clever).  The song is alright, albeit a tad boring…but it’s a good choice to bring on this album.

4. Watashi Leaf

Iriyama, Kawaei, Kato, and Jurina pair up for the next track and I like the synth intro and seems to be more dance focused which is great to hear.  It’s nice to hear natural voices against electronic sounds so I felt they were on the right path.  I quite liked this tune…the best one on this disc so far.

5. Stoic na Bigaku

After that boost of rock, we get Stoic na Bigaku which has a sort of anison sound to it with the loud guitars and beats and chords.  Sung by 7 members: Oba, Ichikawa, Kimoto, Miyawaki, Yabuki, Yabushita, and Mayuyu, it’s a pretty safe song for them since it’s not asking for fast lyrics or difficulty.  I would say it’s alright, but nothing special in the long run.

6. Ponkotsu Blues

Sung by many members strung out throughout the groups, Ponkotsu Blues finally brought in something besides trumpets to the game and instead threw in some saxophone.  The vocals are a bit inconsistent with each other and sounds a bit messed up, though when they sing altogether, it does sound better by a bit…but dual lines is not in its favor here.  I’d say the arrangement is definitey worth it, but not the vocals.

7. Ichi Ni no San

Oshima, Takajo, Nagao, Furukawa, and Minegishi pair up for Ichi Ni no San and it sounded like it’d be awesome right from the start with the intro that almost has an avex kind of tone to it.  Once again, the vocals are a bit offputting, but the song itself is quite nice…mehhh.

8. Kyouhansha

It’s weird that Team A’s song was on the other disc but the other two are on this one…very weird.  Team K’s song comes next and Kyouhansha is another bland song for me.  I didn’t think mixing the dance beat with their idol/anison sound was going to work and I guessed right.  I mean the voices are suited for this, but there’s nothing gripping me here.

9. Douki

Oh jeeze, Paruru is getting a solo?  From what we got in “Eien Pressure”, I thought Paruru was a meh choice, but going into her ballad solo, Douki is pretty simple.  I mean piano and her at first really showed how she could do it.  She’s not bad, but she pinches her notes on higher tones which is pretty unfortunate.  Throw in a random guitar solo and a little more strings and you get this song.  It’s not bad persay, but Sayanee’s was a lot better and so was Acchan’s…

10. Kanashiki Kinkyori Ren’ai

Then Team B shows up and Kanashiki Kinkyori Ren’ai is a mid-tempo (but still bright) song here.  I think it’s meh that their song is kind of generic as well, but there’s some nice moments here.  The chorus is nice, but I felt like it’s been done before as it is.  It’s all right, but like I said numerous times in this review….nothing special.

11. Yume no Kawa

I really wish they left this song out as it’s WAY past the time that Acchan graduated from AKB48.  As the B-side from “Gingham Check”, Yume no Kawa was her sendoff and was appropriate as the ending for this disc as it’s a ballad.  I still do enjoy the song as much as I did back then and the PV was one of the more memorable ones from them.  Such a great graduation song!

Tracks Recommended

  • UZA
  • Kimi no Tame ni Boku wa…
  • Tsuyoi Hana
  • Sayonara Crawl
  • Manatsu no Sounds good!
  • JJ ni Karitamono
  • 10 Krone to Pan
  • Tsuyosa to Yowasa no Aida de
  • Shower no Ato Dakara
  • Watashi Leaf
  • Yume no Kawa
  • Smile Kamikakushi

Song of Avoidance

  • Gingham Check
  • Boku wa Ganbaru
  • Kanashiki Kinkyori Ren’ai

Well damn this took forever to review.  After “1830m” I was hoping they weren’t going to get more crazier with their album releases, but Tsugi no Ashiato threw that in the trash.  This album was crazy to review with all the discs and extra songs.  The main disc was obvious in including all the A-sides, theater edition only songs and some B-sides so it was just a run down memory lane.  The other two discs did get to feature a buttload of new content, but most of it was generic Akimoto songs that I couldn’t be bothered with lol.  I mean it was nice that we got the amount we got, but I didn’t think it was as good as their last album sadly.

 

AKB48 – Suzukake no Ki no Michi de “Kimi no Hohoemi wo Yume ni Miru” to Itteshimattara Bokutachi no Kankei wa Dou Kawatteshimau no ka, Bokunari ni Nannichi ka Kangaeta Ue de no Yaya Ki Hazukashii Ketsuron no You na Mono February 4, 2014

Filed under: AKB48 — solarblade @ 6:14 am

suzukake

Track Listing

  1. Suzukake no Ki no Michi de “Kimi no Hohoemi wo Yume ni Miru” to Itteshimattara Bokutachi no Kankei wa Dou Kawatteshimau no ka, Bokunari ni Nannichi ka Kangaeta Ue de no Yaya Ki Hazukashii Ketsuron no You na Mono
  2. Mosh&Dive
  3. Party is over (AKB48) (Type A only)
  4. Escape (SKE48) (Type S only)
  5. Kimi to Deatte Boku wa Kawatta (NMB48) (Type N only)
  6. Wink wa 3kai (HKT48) (Type H only)
  7. Erande Rainbow (Tentoumu Chu!) (Theater Edition only)
  8. Suzukake no Ki no Michi de “Kimi no Hohoemi wo Yume ni Miru” to Itteshimattara Bokutachi no Kankei wa Dou Kawatteshimau no ka, Bokunari ni Nannichi ka Kangaeta Ue de no Yaya Ki Hazukashii Ketsuron no You na Mono off vocal ver.
  9. Mosh&Dive off vocal ver.
  10. Party is over off vocal ver.
  11. Escape off vocal ver.
  12. Kimi to Deatte Boku wa Kawatta off vocal ver.
  13. Wink wa 3kai off vocal ver.
  14. Erande Rainbow off vocal ver.

1. Suzukake no Ki no Michi de “Kimi no Hohoemi wo Yume ni Miru” to Itteshimattara Bokutachi no Kankei wa Dou Kawatteshimau no ka, Bokunari ni Nannichi ka Kangaeta Ue de no Yaya Ki Hazukashii Ketsuron no You na Mono

Wow AKB, could you have made a long ass title?  As the group’s Janken single, Suzukake Nanchara (as it’s shortened to for myself) actually isn’t a ballad (especially with as long of a title) I was expecting a ballad.  Instead we kind of get an upbeat idol track with a lot of brass.  I hate to say though but coming from their “Heart Ereki” single, this song sounds like most of the B-sides from that single and it was driving me insane.  Since Jurina leads the song she got some solos in front of the rest of the girls that are partaking in the song.  It’s a bit disappointing, but Janken singles typically leave little to no impact on me as it is.

2. Mosh&Dive

The single’s B-side though I think takes the group into more of an anison arrangement which is nice and all and I love the guitar riffs, but the song suffers from lack of interest from the girls (except in the chorus).  I think it could be good if I don’t think too much on it…but meh.

3. Party is over

So the single is separated into the ___48 groups this time around (a good break from the teams).  Party is over is AKB48’s song and FINALLY a song that breaks the mold a bit.  It has this classy arrangement that kind of borders pop and R&B.  I couldn’t believe that this song sounds refreshing almost and the vocals are done well being more lighter and less shrill.  Overall not bad and is much better than “Suzukaka Nanchara” lol.

4. Escape

Why does it seem like SKE48 get some pretty awesome songs?  I will say Escape is such a great song and reminds of when SDN48 was still active.  The song is a dance track and has some great sounds and beats going on.  Even though the chorus is mechanical sounding, the rest of the song just works and definitely is my favorite track from the single.

5. Kimi to Deatte Boku wa Kawatta

NMB48 comes next and of course they get a song that I’m bored with right from the start.  I do like there’s a beat to it and the piano makes the song sound airy almost, it’s just the lack of interesting things going on that pushed me away.  Not even the vocals were doing anything to me…oh well.

6. Wink wa 3kai

As the newest of the groups on the single, they got Wink wa 3kai and I thought the song was going to be awesome especially with the guitar intro and such.  It sounds like a summer single which is a tad untimely but it’s whatever.  It’s definitely better than NMB’s song, but not all that memorable.

7. Erande Rainbow

This time around the Theater Edition doesn’t have a song from AKB’s Kenkyuusei.  It’s actually from Tentoumu Chu! which I talked about when they debuted on AKB’s last single, “Heart Ereki”.  Erande Rainbow does sound like their first song, but replaced the synths with guitars and brass (meaning it’s generic as hell).  Eh, I can’t seem to remember how it goes after the first couple listens…

 

 

Man, AKB seems to just be in a rut with these bland, generic songs they’ve had most of 2013.  Their Janken singles never seemed to really do much for me and Suzukake Nanchara is no exception.  Though Party is over is quite different and wished that was the A-side.  The only other good song is the one from SKE48 (seems like they’ve gotten a lot of good songs recently).  Everything else was just generic crap…I kind of wish they stopped with the multiple releases and focused on making the songs GOOD!….jeeze…

 

AKB48 – Heart Ereki

Filed under: AKB48 — solarblade @ 4:06 am

heartereki

Track Listing

  1. Heart Ereki
  2. Kaisoku to Doutai Shiryoku (Under Girls) (Type A, K, B, and Theater Editions only)
  3. Kiss Made Countdown (Team A) (Type A only)
  4. Sasameyuki Regret (Team K) (Type K only)
  5. Kimi Dake ni Chu! Chu! Chu! (Tentoumu Chu!) (Type B only)
  6. Tiny T-shirt (Team B) (Type B only)
  7. Seijun Philosophy (Team 4) (Type 4 only)
  8. Kimi no Hitomi wa Planetarium (AKB48 Kenkyuusei) (Theater Edition only)
  9. Heart Ereki (off vocal ver.)
  10. Kaisoku to Doutai Shiryoku (off vocal ver.)
  11. Kiss Made Countdown (off vocal ver.)
  12. Sasameyuki Regret (off vocal ver.)
  13. Kimi Dake ni Chu! Chu! Chu! (off vocal ver.)
  14. Tiny T-shirt (off vocal ver.)
  15. Seijun Philosophy (off vocal ver.)
  16. Kimi no Hitomi wa Planetarium (off vocal ver.)

1. Heart Ereki

Our next AKB song was the Autumn single which we all know is the “cool” song from the group though it kind of falls slightly short of the goal!  I was hoping for another “UZA” or something, but Heart Ereki seems to kind of sound like a darker tinged “GIVE ME FIVE!” which I wasn’t totally a big fan of to begin with.  Heart Ereki is alright of a song, but definitely doesn’t rank up there with the other cool songs of the era.

2. Kaisoku to Doutai Shiryoku

I’m honestly kind of tired of the Under Girls songs that we’ve been getting back in 2013 and Kaisoku to Doutai Shiryoku is another throwaway track IMO.  I mean the arrangement is super generic and the vocals aren’t anything to write home with either.  The only thing I can say is that the song has a lot of energy.  Still, nothing special here.

3. Kiss Made Countdown

Then we get into the Team songs and starting with Team A’s song…didn’t we just come out of this?  Like it seriously put some dejavu in my head as it sounded like a clone of “Kaisoku to Doutai Shiryoku”.  Though I like the verses at first as they didn’t have much sound behind it…but it goes back to some generic tones. Blah song…

4. Sasameyuki Regret

Team K’s song is also somewhat generic and sounds like something they’ve done before.  At least the song caters to more of what I like in AKB’s music by adding a bit more synths but if it wasn’t there, the song would’ve been just like the previous two tracks.  Also, the vocals were a bit bored sounding too…hmmm….

5. Kimi Dake ni Chu! Chu! Chu!

Funny enough this is not Team B’s song!  This is actually the debut song from Tentoumu Chu! (who are 7 of the Kenkyuusei from SKE, HKT, NMB, and AKB).  Guessing by that title, the song is one of the cuter songs I’ve come into and its true but it has the same instruments that were in the other songs!  Unlike those however, they sound nice here and the solo lines were handled well.  Still a bit too sugary for me though but it’s one of the better songs off the single.

6. Tiny T-shirt

Finally we get to Team B’s song and Tiny T-shirt finally breaks the monotony of the single by giving us a mid-tempo song with brass instruments and piano/synths as well.  After a while, I do drift away from it and it become background fodder…it’s OK, but nothing special.

7. Seijun Philosophy

I love that Team 4 got brought back with new members involved!  What’s with the single trying to use the same instruments within one another?  It’s so tiring to get through this single without just becoming bored.  It follows “Sasameyuki Regret” in direction but has a little bit of an anime sound to it which I guess is alright, but still amongst the single, I’m just over it.

8. Kimi no Hitomi wa Planetarium

The theater edition of course features the AKB Kenkyuusei with their own song with Kimi no Hitomi wa Planetarium.  At this point, the single just bores me to death and nothing could really save it.  The Kenkyuusei song sjust sounds like another generic idol song like most of the single…only difference is that this’ll be on their next album (since that’s how their albums have been following through).

 

 

You would think I’d be actually enjoying this as their cool single but this single is overall, plain and boring as hell.  The leading track is probably the best offering from the single which is odd but Heart Ereki is just not as good as songs like well…the last couple of cool singles.  The rest of the single just sounds like a generic mess and none of the songs caught my eye (if any, maybe Kimi Dake ni Chu! Chu! Chu!).  Yeah, this was pretty bad!