Kurayami Monogatari

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HALLOWEEN JUNKY ORCHESTRA – HALLOWEEN PARTY October 15, 2012

Track Listing

  1. HALLOWEEN PARTY
  2. Penalty Waltz

1. HALLOWEEN PARTY

Wow, what a cast of people chosen for this song!  I mean you have both members of VAMPS, Anna Tsuchiya, Kanon Wakeshima, Tomoko Kawase in both her solo monikers, yasu, DAIGO, KYO, Tatsurou, Aoki and various other musicians (which I’ll talk about in the next track).  This track is just dark and fitting for the occasion for sure.  A lot of different vocals and tones that it is messy but in the way that only Halloween would deem it perfectly fitting.  Now seeing as hyde has the most vocals, it was great hearing familiar voices as well like all of the above (especially the female singers).  The hook/chorus of the song eerily sounds like Tomoko’s own “Lollipop Candy♥BAD♥girl” but still this song is a great song and everyone that took part (even the secondary guys in the PV should get a pat on their back for this awesomeness). 

2. Penalty Waltz

So for K.A.Z, Hitsugi, RINA, Aki, and whoever else plays instruments in the group, they get their own instrumental track and it’s a pretty interesting waltz.  It’s funny to see how it moves and then get interrupted by sounds of monsters breaking things and making sounds.  I mean it doesn’t stick as strong as “HALLOWEEN PARTY” did, but I guess it was to make up for the people that didn’t sing on the main track so I can understand why this is here.

 

 

Wow, HALLOWEEN JUNKY ORCHESTRA is a unique and quite awesome of a group filled with known stars in the rock field.  This single was pretty awesome and definitely is colorful and bizarre and just all kinds of random.  I think another song would’ve been a lot better than Penelty Waltz, but I understand why it’s there….I hope they can do something in the future and not be a one-time thing.

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Anna Tsuchiya – Voyagers August 28, 2012

Filed under: Anna Tsuchiya — solarblade @ 4:02 am

Track Listing

  1. Voyagers
  2. Anna Tsuchiya MEGA-MIX
  3. IS THIS LOVE? at 2012/6/9 Sound of Coral Live ver. (Anna ver. only)
  4. Switch On! Orchestra ver. (Instrumental) (Kamen Rider Fourze ver. only)
  5. Voyagers (Instrumental)

1. Voyagers

I’m kind of surprised Anna was chosen again to sing a theme for Kamen Rider.  In comparison, this is a bit more relaxing than her previous KR song, “Switch On!”.  I don’t particularly find the song very memorable for some reason but it’s been a while where I haven’t been too fond of her A-sides so this is kind of her worst in quite a while. 

2. Anna Tsuchiya MEGA-MIX

  • Switch On!
  • rose
  • Kuroi Namida
  • Believe In Love
  • Brave vibration

Wow, so Anna actually pulled off to release a megamix on the single.  Even more is the fact that these songs are predominantly sad ballad-like rock tracks from Anna.  It’s an interesting set of tracks chosen for this and they transition nicely into one another.  I do feel like Kuroi Namida and Believe In Love are the oddball tracks and Brave vibration being the last one as well is odd too.  It’s different but I find it as a nice incentive I guess.

4. Switch On! Orchestra ver. (Instrumental)

I find it weird that they made a third version of Switch On! instead of giving Voyagers it’s alternate instrumental.  I think the orchestra is nice and the melody is a bit stronger but I don’t particularly find the melody to be as memorable as previous other KR-tied songs.

 

 

I’ll be honest and say that this single was kind of blah for me.  Voyagers isn’t that great of an Anna song compared to others and it’s not as good as “Swtich On!” either.  I liked the mega-mix for what it was and its choices were pretty good too.  Switch On!’s new version, blah w/e….yeah I’m not too excited from this single.

 

Anna Tsuchiya – Switch On! November 23, 2011

Filed under: Anna Tsuchiya — solarblade @ 6:25 am

Track Listing

  1. Switch On!
  2. Switch On! Rock’n Roll States edit.
  3. Switch On! Space Techno States edit.
  4. Switch On! instrumental

1. Switch On!

Since Anna seem to now have a Kamen Rider song under her wing, I was curious to see how it was going to work since it’s her style for the most part.  For the most part, I was kind of surprised she pulled the song off with energy and power.  Then again she’s got such a unique voice that it wouldn’t work with anyone else really.  It definitely continues the strong songs she’s been releasing after “RULE”.

2. Switch On! Rock’n Roll States edit.

Of course since this is a Kamen Rider single, there’s no true B-side and we’re left with instrumental remixes of the leading track.  I’m not totally sure why we got a Rock’n Roll take of the song until the guitar comes in and it has this sound like it was released when Elvis was alive basically.  I like the melody, but it’s funny to hear disc scratching and popping noises in the arrangement here.  Interesting…..

3. Switch On! Space Techno States edit.

The other instrumental remix takes out the natural stuff and replaces it with synths, a pico-pop beat and more weird things.  Unlike previous instrumentals, you can hear some of the lyrics in the song which is definitely something new to me.  I do wish Anna was singing fully hear because the arrangement and the lyrics would’ve sounded great. 

 

 

While I doubt Switch On! will be on her upcoming collabo-best, this single was pretty good just for the main track.  I mean it sounds pretty good and after the near-perfect “UNCHAINED GIRL”, this was a good follow-up song.  I really do wish that the Kamen Rider instrumentals would include vocals, but beggars can’t be choosers.

 

Anna Tsuchiya – UNCHAINED GIRL October 2, 2011

Filed under: Anna Tsuchiya — solarblade @ 8:57 pm

Track Listing

  1. STAYIN’ ALIVE
  2. JUICY GIRL feat. The SAMOS
  3. Master Blaster

1. STAYIN’ ALIVE

Beginning this triple A-side, is a cover hahaha.  Yep, Anna decided to cover the epic disco tune that was made famous by The Beegees.  It’s pretty hard not to know the original so hearing Anna covering this does comes off as a strange idea.  Of course, the song’s style is change to suit more of Anna’s rock style…but it has this kind of jazzy touch as well.  To me she pulled it off since she doesn’t have to hit a falsetto like the original.  I actually liked this cover, not too shabby!

2. JUICY GIRL feat. The SAMOS

The next track is a definite turn from the previous song by moving from a rock track to more of a gritty and dark electro/rock track.  Everyone knows Anna loves to experiment so this comes as no surprise.  I kind of like Anna hear since it’s so catchy and pretty tight.  To me, I think The SAMOS were the producers here and they don’t exactly make an appearance here.  Another great song here!

3. Master Blaster

Who would’ve thought Anna would be working with Yoko Kanno on a track huh?  Yoko is known for her works on the Xenosaga series and Ghost in the Shell series.  Her work is pretty well-known and hearing her carry her dramatic orchestral and synth work for Anna made me curious.  Master Blaster is definitely Yoko Kanno’s work and hearing Anna’s unique vocals mixed together makes the song sound epic and strong.  It’s probably my favorite off the single!

 

 

Wow, after her last single kind of failed with “Shout in the rain”, I was wondering if she was losing her touch, but after collaborating with Namie Amuro and AI, it brought hope back and then UNCHAINED GIRL comes out and she’s back to awesomeness.  I loved this single, especially JUICY GIRL and Master Blaster.  STAYIN’ ALIVE was a pretty good cover no doubt but the two original tracks were way cooler!  *RECOMMENDED*

 

Anna Tsuchiya – RULE September 23, 2010

Filed under: Anna Tsuchiya — solarblade @ 2:29 am

Track Listing

  1. Introduction
  2. She Hates Me
  3. Atashi
  4. Brave vibration
  5. Believe in Love
  6. Boushoku-kei Danshi!! (PE’Z×Anna Tsuchiya)
  7. MY BATTLE
  8. NEVER EVER
  9. Human Clay
  10. JUDGE
  11. GUILTY
  12. Shout in the rain
  13. Voice of butterfly
  14. HEY YOU! (bonus track)
  15. GUN! GUN! LOVE! (bonus track)

1. Introduction

Beginning the album, Anna opens up the song singing in acappella in a mixture of English and Japanese and of course with her unique vocal style and I thought she has a great soulful voice when she sings and it definitely worked for me.  That’s just it though hahaha.

2. She Hates Me

I really loved that after that quiet intro, she kicks things into high gear with this song.  I love the rockin’ atmosphere that was thrown a bit a few times in the era.  Anna’s vocals are a bit filtered to fit with the gritty sound and I love the fact that this song has a lot of English as well.  Just a great song to begin the album and brought back the wild and pissy Anna that I love, even though it’s only three minutes long.

3. Atashi

Having the 2nd A-side come next was a smart choice because it prolongs Anna’s wild and rock driven style that I’ve fortunately loved in the era.  I know a lot of people only remember the chorus, but I think that’s best part of the tune IMHO.  It’s just very fast-paced and energetic and shows off Anna’s vocals more clearly than “She Hates Me”.

4. Brave vibration

Having the same guitar sound might have made this the easiest bridge into Brave vibration.  As it was Anna’s first A-side released in the era, it doesn’t fit on the album unfortunately.  I mean it’s a summer song and all but that wasn’t the problem…I think it was the fact that it was more in a pop/rock style that most of the other songs here.  It’s not a bad song overall, but it just doesn’t fit this album much like “NEVER EVER”.

5. Believe in Love

I was surprised that Anna had chosen a ballad to promote the album, and it fits with the album covers since it’s kind of regal and such.  Compared to previous ballads, Anna really has brought it with this song since it’s nice, slow, fitting for her vocals, and builds up quite nicely.  She chose a great song to lead into the album and a very fitting one too at that.

6. Boushoku-kei Danshi!! (PE’Z×Anna Tsuchiya)

I know I never reviewed the single and I don’t know why, but since this is Anna’s collaborative with jazz group PE’Z, Boushoku-kei Danshii!! reminds of a mix of the “Atashi” remix off her last single and “GUN! GUN! LOVE!” for some odd reason.  Anna’s vocals oddly fit this style and while “Brave vibration” might not fit, this tune doesn’t either, but I believe this song a bit more since it’s quite an interesting jazz tune. 

7. MY BATTLE

Being the shortest tune (with the exception of “Introduction”) MY BATTLE doesn’t sound like what I thought it would’ve been like.  To me MY BATTLE should’ve been an amazing and powerful ballad or rock song, but we ended up with this western/ragtime ditty that just sounds weird, but Anna once again proves that her vocals can fit in any style and add punch to it.  It’s different but not a bad song.

8. NEVER EVER

At least we’re slowly getting out of the experimental side.  NEVER EVER has the same light rock side that “Brave vibration” had, but it’s more focused on keeping it consistent.  I actually have an easier time remembering this song than most of the other tracks and that’s good.  Still it’s one of the lighter rock songs off the album.

9. Human Clay

I was surprised that Human Clay actually was something that’s closed to synth-rock we’d get from Anna.  Ok, I bluffed it’s just only the verses that have the slight synth stuff.  The rest of the song has a rock-oriented feel and even though it isn’t hard like “Atashi”, it still is pretty good and is something I would’ve expected Anna to have had release as a single.  It’s one of the album’s shiners.

10. JUDGE

Now if there was something that fits on her NANA works, JUDGE would be that song because it has gritty guitar riffs and has a little bit of synths in it, but it keeps to its roots and the chorus is pretty damn catchy.  Anna is just being very loud and fierce in this song and I love it a lot. 

11. GUILTY

If some of you don’t recognize why I bolded the song in the first place, GUILTY is literally the first song released for the era.  It’s found on the Resident Evil: Degeneration OST.  Of course having such a title, it’s not surprise that it’s one of the harder rock songs on the album.  At least this song is pretty awesome and since it carries itself like previous hard songs like “BLOOD ON BLOOD” and some of her NANA songs, GUILTY has a great feel to it.  Then again it feels there’s so much effort put into this like “Believe in Love”.  It’s one of the album’s best songs.

12. Shout in the rain

Which is weird because Shout in the rain is just as hard-hitting as “GUILTY” but there’s something that’s so awkward about the song and I can’t point it out exactly because I love the gothic-like sound it had and Anna’s voice are at calibur…but that chorus is just weak sounding and not full of bang.  It’s my least favorite of the A-sides released but there’s still good things about the song though.

13. Voice of butterfly

For the final new song on the album, Voice of butterfly is actually a ballad too and y’know Anna just knows how to do these right.  Unlike “Believe in Love”, Voice of butterfly has a more interesting glow to it that isn’t so depressing to listen to.  I mean it kind of still is, but I mean Anna is singing in a higher pitch and has a whole lot more control over her vocals.  Since it’s more simpler than the first ballad, Voice of butterfly comes off clean and sweet.  I approve!

14. HEY YOU!

I really don’t know why they added both HEY YOU! and “GUN! GUN! LOVE!” more or less next to each but I wasn’t a huge fan of the song since it didn’t last long (only 10 seconds longer than “MY BATTLE”)  I know that the two B-sides have things in common with each other, but this song just be best left for lives and such because it doesn’t sound well in a studio version.

15. GUN! GUN! LOVE!

As for the B-side from “Shout in the rain”, I actually love this song a whole lot even though it’s something she doesn’t do too much otherwise.  There’s just something about the song that sparks my interest besides the brass instruments, but the fun atmosphere helped a lot IMO.  It’s a bit weird as RULE’s final track, but GUN! GUN! LOVE! is exciting and a fun tune to have been included on the album.

Tracks Recommended

  • JUDGE
  • GUILTY
  • Atashi
  • GUN! GUN! LOVE!
  • Human Clay

Song of Avoidance

  • HEY YOU!

I’m surprised with how long it took for Anna to release this album, but RULE actually turned out nicer than I had thought it would.  I was expecting that it was going to be meh with how the singles were like.  Also, this album is definitely playing more on the safer side when compared to “NUDY SHOW!”  It’s not that I don’t like that, it’s just it could’ve been more wild for some reason.  Still it’s a very solid release and I liked most of the album for the most part ^_^

 

Anna Tsuchiya – Shout in the rain August 18, 2010

Filed under: Anna Tsuchiya — solarblade @ 12:35 pm

Track Listing

  1. Shout in the rain
  2. GUN! GUN! LOVE!
  3. Atashi x ORE ~mash up PE’Z~

1. Shout in the rain

Everyone who knows me that I really enjoy Anna’s darker rock songs that she brings up every so often and Shout in the rain is pretty grungy in execution, but there’s something not right.  I mean I love the dark atmosphere that it gives, making it almost gothic-like.  Anna’s vocals are somewhat fitting but it’s like it’s missing that total Anna spark that I love in songs (like “Atashi”).  Maybe if it was a litttle more powerful, perhaps it would’ve been better, but otherwise it’s nott totally amazing but it’s passable.

2. GUN! GUN! LOVE!

However, I actually ended up enjoying the B-side since it’s like different which is good since she mostly excels at non-rock songs.  The energy from Anna with this overly brass-arrangement is so exciting and just fits her personality.  Now when it was first heard I thought it was a new version of “HEY NOW!” (B-side from “Atashi”) just because she said it a few times in the song.  Still, way better than I thought it’d be.

3. Atashi x ORE ~mash up PE’Z~

So ending the single, Atashi gets remixed and we change the song into more of a jazz style of a song.  I didn’t think Atashi would sound good in this kind of style, but Atashi sounds pretty exciting with the new arrangement and upbeat style.  At least it beats that last remix to death since it’s unbearable to listen to.

 

 

As the third and final single for the “RULE” era, Shout in the rain is an upgrade from “Atashi” but only because two songs sounds better than one haha.  Shout in the rain is just a little too melodramatic and strange sounding for me.  However GUN! GUN! LOVE! and the Atashi remix were winners in my book.  Maybe she needs more brass in her life! XDDD

 

Anna Tsuchiya – Atashi July 21, 2010

Filed under: Anna Tsuchiya — solarblade @ 10:51 pm

Track Listing

  1. Atashi
  2. HEY YOU!
  3. Brave vibration ~Wicked Dancehall Version~ mush up INFINITY16

1. Atashi

After that whole fiasco with “Brave vibration”, I was so happy to see Anna return to her hardcore rock style and even though the two songs share some similar sounding guitars, Atashi is what I’ve been missing.  I love the ride of the song and it mixed well with the PV because it’s definitely a song to drive to.  Of course she’s her usual nasally awesomeness and that’s no bother for me.  Definitely a great way to return to awesomeness.

2. HEY YOU!

Anna amps it up for her B-side which is another thing she really hasn’t had for a while and I loved her energy and quirkyness in the song despite being under three minutes in length.  I don’t know why, but it’s a song that should be saved for performances and of course it’s mostly English so it’s pretty understandable, but it’s still lyrically ehhh.  I think there just should’ve been a little more longer but it’s my opinion

3. Brave vibration ~Wicked Dancehall Version~ mush up INFINITY16

Let’s be honest, Anna…dancehall…and auto-tune should never belong together and this mush up really put the crap together.  I really hate the fact that the song just doesn’t really change much around and the ~hey-ing~ is pretty fucking annoying.  I’m sorry but this is worse than Ayu’s reggae remix just on her last single. 

 

 

Kind of the same reaction I got with “Brave vibration”, Atashi kind of took it more extreme this time around.  I loved Atashi since it’s Anna’s pure sound and energetic performance that caught me good.  HEY YOU! is in your face, but it could use a little more depth and length to make it better.  Though that Brave vibration remix is just atrocious to my ears.  I think it’s her worst remix yet and that’s saying something.