Kurayami Monogatari

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angela – KINGS October 21, 2012

Filed under: angela — solarblade @ 9:00 pm

Track Listing

  1. KINGS
  2. THE DARK
  3. KINGS (off vocal version)
  4. THE DARK (off vocal version)

1. KINGS

Is it me of does KINGS slightly remind me of like a mix of both “spiral” and “Link”?  It just has this similar structure going and while I actually enjoyed the song’s darker atmosphere and spooky undertones, it doesn’t have to much bang in it.  At least the song really suits atsuko because she’s got some echoing effects on her voice that seems to fit nicely.  It’s slightly better than “THE LIGHT OF HEROES” but not by much.

2. THE DARK

I really don’t know why they put the better songs as B-sides since ever since I started reviewing them, majority of the good stuff lies as B-sides.  THE DARK is a little bit darker, but it also kind of shares the instrumentation like in “KINGS” but I felt atsuko tackled this song a whole lot better.  Yeah this is good!

 

 

Been a while since angela’s last single, but I think they did well with KINGS.  Both tracks are quite dark and anison heavy but they pulled it off.  They still aren’t impressing me fully  (whole single wise), but they are keeping me interested.  THR DARK though is the better song (once again B-side > A-side).

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angela – THE LIGHTS OF HEROES February 21, 2012

Filed under: angela — solarblade @ 1:17 am

Track Listing

  1. THE LIGHTS OF HEROES
  2. Shangri-La [mf]
  3. So sweet memories
  4. THE LIGHTS OF HEROES (off vocal version)
  5. Shangri-La [mf] (off vocal version)
  6. So sweet memories (off vocal version)

1. THE LIGHTS OF HEROES

I like the introduction to the song a lot…almost epic haha.  Unlike the last few A-sides, THE LIGHTS OF HEROES is quite light for them and is just a little underwhelming but at the same time, this is better than their last era of songs for the most part.  I found that the ethnic touches like sitar and flutes really added to the song and made it more unique plus atsuko sounds rather great here.  So it’s not as bad as I deemed it would be but I still think majority of the B-sides in the last era surpass this A-side…but this is a good start for them.

2. Shangri-La [mf]

What is it with angela and bringing back Shangri-La AGAIN?  I mean this is like the third time I’ve seen this song on one of their releases since I’ve started reviewing them.  Though this time they revised it and made a new version out of it!  It starts with a chorale opening the song up before atsuko enters the song and sings the melody (which I think is resung).  It’s pretty nice and a good touchup on the original.  I wanna say it’s more of a ballad than the original as well.  It’s a nice new version!

3. So sweet memories

The other B-side on the single is a little more rock based with KATSU hitting the guitars but to me it’s kind of also a bit lightweight compared to many previous releases.  I mean it’s pretty much a stick to the rules anison song but without the energy to back it up.  Just doesn’t left up to expectations here.

 

 

Kicking off their eighth era, THE LIGHTS OF HEROES might be a slow burner of a single but none of the songs are terrible persay.  Both the leading track and So sweet memories were pretty good but they were exceedingly light and to the book with their anison song.  The revisioned Shangri-La wasn’t bad either but I’m tired of running into this song every so often, time to move on!  I hope their next single is a little better.

 

angela – mirror☆ge July 1, 2011

Filed under: angela — solarblade @ 5:25 am

Track Listing

  1. Soukyuu
  2. mirrorballs
  3. Alternative
  4. “Real” wa…
  5. Rikai to Hakai e no Prelude
  6. Guruguru☆Boshi
  7. Catch and Go!
  8. Donna ni…Dore Kurai…
  9. Wonderful World
  10. FORTUNES
  11. Aoi Haru
  12. Kirafuwa

1. Soukyuu

Opening the album is the duo’s third A-side and final single in the era and Soukyuu is by far the best of the three but it definitely took time for me to appreciate it.  Like I said on the single review, it does feel like a more hyper version of “Spiral” with the energy and how atsuko is flying through the song with her vocals.  I didn’t like them when I first heard them, but they’ve seem to have grown on me since December.  However, the song still feels a little off and the arrangement sometimes gets a bit out of shape…but still out of the other two A-sides, this is pretty good.

2. mirrorballs

It’s fitting with how the art cover is shown off so….title track maybe?  mirrorballs is pretty funky because unlike the previous song, this one is more eurotrance and I’m kind of falling for it.  I love the fact that atsuko toned down her dramatic vocals a little bit because whatever she did here was so epic and I loved this since it’s just right for me.  I know I’m bound to say this a little bit…but this feels like a slower version of “Spiral”.

3. Alternative

Then we get into the era’s first A-side and I still despise Alternative quite a bit.  The beginning starts off pretty slow with atsuko and some other small instrumentation to back her up.  After a little bit, the dance beats and typical angela stuff comes in and it’s alright up to the chorus where it’s unbelievibly fast-paced and I barely could follow the lyrics to the track.  I mean there’s parts that I enjoy about the song, but I think it’s in the middle between “Soukyuu” and “Aoi Haru”.

4. “Real” wa…

I really loved the piano that opened up our next new song on the album.  KATSU does very well with arrangements (for the most part) and since it marks as the album’s first ballad, “Real” wa… is a surprise.  atsuko does these kind of songs quite amazingly and this one is no exception since she moves the song very gracefully and the strings also do a great job.  I am slightly disappointed that almost halfway, drums enter the arrangement and it kind of dashes the mood of almost being vulnerable.  It’s still a good song though overall.

5. Rikai to Hakai e no Prelude

Why this and later song “FORTUNE” is bolded is because it was previously released on the “Soukyuu no Fafner” mini-album that had songs used in the series (which I didn’t review).  The first one that comes up does come as a surprise because I get a folkish/latin vibe from this song and it kind of moves quite smoothly through the entire track and I liked it.  I’m a little shocked that I missed this song because I like the groove of it VERY WELL.

6. Guruguru☆Boshi

Is this track the song’s cute song?  I don’t know why, but the title really makes me think so.  I doesn’t have a lot in instrumentation going on like previous songs but the simplicity and the fact atsuko is trying to be cute with the song makes an interesting twist after “Rikai to Hakai e no Prelude”.  It doesn’t exactly grow in the arrangement, but it’s a nice little relaxing tune.

7. Catch and Go!

Since it is the summer and all, I’m not surprised in the least that the duo would put at least one summer song here.  I love hearing brass instruments, baritone sax, and steel drums and it works to give this lighthearted and tropical feel.  To me it does seem to borrow the genki elements that were present in “Aoi Haru” and I felt this was handled a lot better.  Strange but props to KATSU for pulling something out of left field.

8. Donna ni…Dore Kurai…

Is this still angela?!?  Unlike the summery vibes of the previous track, Donna ni…Dore Kurai… keeps the brass instruments and works around a funky vibe that I kind of found myself enjoying.  I also noticed atsuko is singing in a deeper tone and she sounds quite good from what I hear and when she goes into her normal tone, she puts it out there and I loved that.  This is probably my favorite song off the album hands down.

9. Wonderful World

As the longest song and only song that goes past the 6 minute mark, I was pretty interested to see how it would turn out.  I wasn’t expecting harps and this kind of Final Fantasy-like atmosphere to come outta this track and I thought the beginning with atsuko was beautiful.  Once the chorus comes around KATSU and his guitar + drums and strings enter and gives this powerful punch.  What I didn’t expecting either is that there’s a synth solo near the middle of the tune.  This is an unexpected song, but this was handled so much more strongly than “Real” wa…”

10. FORTUNES

The other Soukyuu no Fafner image song appears next and unlike the slow “Rikai to Hakai e no Prelude” this has more of a anime-ish glow about but you can hear things that might be similar to each track.  To me, FORTUNES might be the best out of the anime songs on the album and that’s a good thing because it’s way better than “Soukyuu” IMO. 

11. Aoi Haru

Unfortunately we have to listen to my least favorite of the A-sides released, Aoi Haru.  I did like it when it was released because it was uncharacteristic of the duo to do something so positive and genki with kids being in the background with ~YEAH!~.  It isn’t so bad I guess…maybe it is even with “Alternative” but this is still an odd song from the duo (as much as it fits on this album no less).

12. Kirafuwa

Closing the album, Kirafuwa kind of reminds me of their song “Galactic material” off their previous album (at least in the beginning).  It’s one of the more mid-tempo songs but it has bounce and it doesn’t really ask for too much from atsuko.  It doesn’t leave much of an impression besides the fact it’s the final song sadly.

Tracks Recommended

  • Donna ni…Dore Kurai…
  • mirrorballs
  • Rikai to Hakai e no Prelude
  • Catch and Go!
  • Soukyuu

Song of Avoidance

  • Alternative

Besides the mini-album and that concept album, angela has been off their game in the A-sides for the era.  None of them really spoke to me and honestly I rather would’ve wanted them to be replaced by “Kanata no delight”, “Tsunaga Room” and “Sayonara no Toki Kurai Hohoende” all made better A-side compared the actual ones.  Now mirror☆ge (minus the A-side issue) was a pretty amazing release with all the songs giving them a great and fresh feel after the more serious “Land Ho!”.  It’s pretty good and I hope they bring it altogether for the next era!

 

angela – Yoru ga Hakobarete Kuru Made ni ~A Song in A Bed~ February 18, 2011

Filed under: angela — solarblade @ 9:13 am

Track Listing

  1. “Intro”
  2. “Sore ga Doko ni Aru Ka”
  3. “Unmei”
  4. “Aru Hareta Hi ni”
  5. Sakuhin”
  6. “Diving”
  7. “Henji”
  8. “Kabe 2”
  9. Yoru ga Hakobarete Kuru Made ni (Dokushoyou BGM)

1. “Intro”

I really like the orchestral arrangement that opens up this concept album.  It’s really pretty and kind of like has this Disney glow to it that makes the movies feel like it’s a dream and stuff like that.  After a little bit, the music goes away and is replaced by atsuko talking over a melody done by a music box.  It’s an interesting intro for sure.

2. “Sore ga Doko ni Aru ka”

As the first song on the album, it begins with a fade in that oddly sound like something you would hear around a carousel…but it fades away into atsuko’s vocals.  I like the waltz-like atmosphere mixed in with atsuko’s flowing vocals as it adds a sweet amount of depth.  I will say I’m not to used to such a slow song like this since angela’s music is more edgier than this normally.  It’s good don’t get me wrong, but unorthodox.

3. “Unmei”

Now this is a bit more to my liking, I like the fact that while it’s still not to the expectations of normal angela music, Unmei is more pop in genre-style, but with atsuko’s unique vocals, they make it more epic with the mid-tempo feel and the synths + strings the fluorish throughout.  Though it makes me question where KATSU is since he really hasn’t done music yet.

4. “Aru Hareta Hi ni”

Hmmmm, we slow down again for our next song?  I find it very awesome that the styles shown so far on this album have not been similar at all.  Aru Hareta Hi ni, has a very light atmosphere going on since it’s kind of like softcore island music.  atsuko’s vocals sounds more higher pitched as well, giving it a little bit of a seiyuu-ish tone.  It’s not terrible like “Aoi Haru”, but just a good amount.  I liked it quite a bit for being basically elevator music hahaha!

5. “Sakuhin”

Hey, throw in some sax for our next track, Sakuhin.  It’s starting to fall upon me that this album has many different genres and styles of music since this is Jazz right here.  Sadly, the lack of movement in the song makes it feel really out of place and with atsuko singing like she is here (normal power voice) it’s very disjointed in execution and I was pretty bored before it even finished.

6. “Diving”

And for most goofiest song on the album, Diving definitely takes the cake and runs with it.  First off, atsuko’s vocals went even more cutesy and nasally which means torture to my ears, but what’s more weirder is the music being so genki and the amount of steel drums present…what happened did atsuko join H!P or something?  Damn was this goofy as all hell.

7. “Henji”

At least we calmed down after that lulz fest with Henji which is also a ballad.  I’m happy we finally get into something like this from angela since it’s a pretty beautiful ballad actually.  There’s a lot of interesting ideas once the song actually gets going like the addition of brass in the more outlandish areas of the song and drums for most of the song…it’s nice, but I’m expecting KATSU to pull his guitar out and ROCK!

8. Kabe 2

As the final vocal song on the album, Kabe 2 is definitely along the lines of angela’s usual releases since there’s strings and some guitars and has an anime-like feel to it.  It’s very nice to hear their normal sound after such vibrant colors beforehand.  It’s a nice way to end the album for the most part.

9. Yoru ga Hakobarete Kuru Made ni (Dokushoyou BGM)

Though it isn’t over yet, it seems that the next track is BGM’s of all the songs in one track.  However, some of the arrangements have been changed and instruments are playing over the melody of atsuko’s vocals which aren’t here.  I thought it was a nice bonus, but I don’t think sitting through 32 minutes of voiceless music suits me very well in the long run.

Tracks Recommended

  • “Aru Hareta Hi ni”
  • “Unmei”
  • “Kabe 2”

Song of Avoidance

  • “Diving”

Since this was a concept album that went a long with “A Book in A Bed”, A Song in A Bed was pretty out of the ordinary for the duo (even though I question how much KATSU was really here for), but I thought it was pretty cool and different.  I wonder if they’ll include a song from here to their next album, but I doubt it.  Nice and different YEP!

 

angela – Soukyuu December 27, 2010

Filed under: angela — solarblade @ 5:17 am

Track Listing

  1. Soukyuu
  2. Sayonara no Toki Kurai Hohoende
  3. Soukyuu (off vocal ver.)
  4. Sayonara no Toki Kurai Hohoende (off vocal ver.)

1. Soukyuu

After the randomness of their last A-side “Aoi Haru”, Soukyuu comes as a pull back into stuff that brought me into their music in the first place.  To me it’s definitely like a more hyperactive “Spiral” with less control in the music from KATSU and even less controlled vocals from atsuko.  She seems to love to fly over the scales and just overrape her vibrato to awkward notes.  I don’t know but it just seems she’s been getting worse since “Alternative” was released.

2. Sayonara no Toki Kurai Hohoende

There’s hope yet though since atsuko clears up her whatever she was pulling in “Soukyuu” and does so much better for the B-side which is a flowing ballad of sorts.  It’s a very dramatic piece especially after the quietness of the beginning.  Once the song starts to open, more Arabic-like instruments are thrown into the arrangement and it gives it this interesting sound like they’re in a cave or something.  It’s great for sure doesn’t really force atsuko to do something out of the ordinary.

Ending out the year with the third single of the era, Soukyuu follows along a line of faulty A-sides here recently and this one right now kind of takes the cake over “Aoi Haru’s” child-like atmosphere.  If atsuko’s vocals weren’t jacked up so much in the song, I’m sure it would’ve been executed better.  As for Sayonara no Toki Kurai Hohoende, it doesn’t overpass last single’s “Tsunaga Room”, but it’s definitely a strong enough song to have been an A-side with its Arabic touches and steadier vocals from atsuko…I wonder what their concept album is going to be like now….

 

angela – Aoi Haru August 1, 2010

Filed under: angela — solarblade @ 5:38 am

Track Listing

  1. Aoi Haru
  2. Tsunaga Ro→om
  3. Aoi Haru (off vocal ver.)
  4. Tsunaga Ro→om (off vocal ver.)

1. Aoi Haru

You know while I’ve known angela for only about an era long, I did not expect them to throw this song out for an A-side.  Compared to their previous releases, this is very absurd of an song.  First off, atsuko is not using her very expressive vibrato that she utilizes in “Spiral” or even “Alternative”, but most of the time atsuko is singing higher and she speak-sings very fast (the end of each chorus is a great example).  The second major twist is the song’s arrangement is not dark and gothic, but more genki and silly-sounding with KATSU having a guitar solo near the last minute of the song.  It’s so bizarre, but it’s oddly catchy (minus the fast speaking parts).

2. Tsunaga Ro→om

As for the B-side, it follows the same upbeat style that “Aoi Haru” followed but it’s more synthisized and atsuko is back to hear chanting/singing style.  Then again it’s hard to tell because her voice is under vocoder which is a different kind of thing for the duo.  However, I’m already falling in love with the song since it’s cybernetic in presentation but also a positive song.  Definitely stronger than “Aoi Haru”.

 

 

After going through the “Land Ho!” era and the “Alternative” single, I was expecting them to continue on this dark and gothic side to their music, but with Aoi Haru, the idea was totally jacked and they gave us a pretty sickingly sweet song that almost borderlines H!P music.  At least Tsunaga Ro→om was the direction of experimentation that worked for them.  Maybe synths are the way to go….

 

angela – Alternative November 20, 2009

Filed under: angela — solarblade @ 3:43 am

Track Listing

  1. Alternative
  2. Kanata no delight
  3. Alternative (off vocal version)
  4. Kanata no delight (off vocal version)

1. Alternative

After such an amazing single in “Spiral/Link”, I was honestly expecting something more explosive from angela.  The beginning to me felt too drawn out.  After the beginning it does become more of a dance track, but it feels like an awkward version of Ayu’s “evolution” with the uber fast chorus.  atsuko’s vocals continue to prove she has the strength to do songs like this, but when they are congested and sound messy, it’s definitely taking a strong risk and sadly, I’m not too fond.

2. Kanata no delight

I was more interested in the B-side for the era.  I really loved the strings in the song and since KATSU wasn’t making this song out to be mess central, Kanata no delight was a joy to listen to and would fit as a good anime opening.  Hmmmm….this should’ve been the A-side IMO

 

 

So angela once again begins an era off with a pretty bad A-side but makes up for it with the B-side.  I’m not sure why, but if KATSU was trying to replicate the awesomeness that was “Spiral” then he missed by mashing atsuko’s vocals in the chorus.  Kanata no delight was clearly the better track and even though it doesn’t have the same spark that the last single had it’s not too bad.  Oh well…