Kurayami Monogatari

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Annabel – miniascape December 3, 2012

Filed under: Annabel — solarblade @ 7:23 am

miniascape

Track Listing

  1. sensonia
  2. My heaven
  3. Signal Graph
  4. Light of Dawn
  5. STEP AHEAD
  6. Akashi
  7. Seiro Koukou
  8. abysmal noise
  9. Hello Mellow
  10. Sayonara no Tsuzuki e
  11. torus
  12. anamnesis
  13. Kineorama
  14. Above your hand

1. sensonia

A nice strings intro opens the album with sensonia and it’s kind of different since it starts lightly with Annabel and then has these hard hits of (bells?).  I like the mysterious nature of the song since it’s nothing you really expect.  I like it though, it’s different and has a strong impact and sets the tone of the album nicely!

2. My heaven

After the very impressive “sensonia” we move back to her debut A-side, My heaven and for a song that was released in 2009, it fits quite snuggly on the album.  It doesn’t have the splashes of color like the previous tracks do, but when it adds synthetic elements and gains a beat, the song just becomes a lot prettier to me.  I just find myself being drawn into space with this song and I love it for that.  Great song!

3. Signal Graph

As the 5th and final A-side released, Signal Graph pops up after “My heaven” and the change of atmospheres is a bit strange to me, but this song suits the entire album.  I love the piano melodies and the synths playing around in the arrangement as well.  Annabel just sounds so good and she stood out to me.  Unlike most of the songs, this really has an obvious anison sound to it, but I’m good with that.  Great song as well!

4. Light of Dawn

Then again without her second A-side, I don’t think she would’ve succeeded with “Signal Graph” (though it could be my bias coming out).  Light of Dawn is definitely my favorite of the A-sides for sure!  It’s got a lot of the same elements, but this doesn’t sound very anison to me which is a bit strange.  I just think Annabel did a much better job in this song and whoever arranged this is a genius!  It’s just a really awesome song and so very happy it made the cut despite being also a 2009 single.

5. STEP AHEAD

Also there were some B-sides included like STEP AHEAD from “Signal Graph”.  When I first reviewed it, I praised the edgier arrangement but also felt Annabel sung too softly which did make the song cover her voice a lot.  I like it, but once again I felt if they raised the volume of her voice a little bit, I think the song would’ve been up there.  I still do approve of the arrangement though.

6. Akashi

At this point of the album, there are songs that were used in various tie-ins and on some OSTs (kind of like faylan’s debut album).  Akashi comes first and it changes the playfield a lot.  I feel like this song has a strange ethereal glow to it like “filum” and “sensonia” do.  Annabel’s vocals are very light here and it moves quite slowly until later where it gains a beat which adds to the intricate atmosphere.  It’s definitely a unique song on the album…AND I LOVE IT!

7. Seiro Koukou

After “Akashi” I wasn’t expecting acoustic guitars to fill my speakers up at the beginning of our next track.  It feels like I’ve heard this track somewhere before like in an RPG or something similar to that nature.  It’s adventurous and has a floaty feel to it which I love about the song.  Strong song!

8. abysmal noise

I kind of hoped that this song was going to be Annabel’s hardcore song and in some ways it slightly is.  It does have a darker arrangement when compared to the other songs off the album and Annabel’s whispy vocals really suited the song’s melodies.  It’s not as edgy as I would’ve wanted it, but it’s a good track regardless and the chorus is really good…^_^

9. Hello Mellow

I don’t know why, but Hello Mellow is like the antithesis to “abysmal noise” because this is bright and Annabel’s vocals are higher-pitched which is a surprising choice for the tracklist.  Maybe it’s the wacky transition, but I’m just not liking this song much because Annabel sounds a bit off and the song does come off as a little cheesy.

10. Sayonara no Tsuzuki e

Acoustic guitar again?  Ok…well Sayonara no Tsuzuki e is definitely the quietest song I’ve ran into yet which is a nice change of pace after all the upbeat tracks I’ve heard.  Sometimes it sounds like “Seiro Koukou” but the softer parts are really pleasant to the ears IMO.  Not bad of a song and I like it a lot too

11. torus

Seems like another B-side made the cut with “Light of Dawn’s” torus.  Even though I haven’t had a lot of time to listen to it, the song still doesn’t really resonate with me because it’s just a little too quiet and a little too empty for me to digest.  I tried to get into this, but I’m just zoning out even before the halfway point.

12. anamnesis

Which boggles my mind why they put this song back-to-back with “torus” because I also felt this song was lacking when I reviewed it back in February.  As the song that reintroduced Annabel in the major label land, anamnesis is a bit more natural sounding than the previous track with strings and piano, but this song is just lacking.  I mean it does grow and the song pops out but it’s short and it’s like why couldn’t it be the whole track that has the strings? 

13. Kineorama

The last of the new songs (or basically the songs that weren’t on the singles), Kineorama has a lovely intro that kind of has this kind of folkish feel to it (not like Kajiura/Shimotsuki) but the movement is slightly similar.  The song though does really go on to really stand out past that and it’s leaving me a bit bored.

14. Above your hand

I’m surprised she chose to end the album with the 4th A-side considering it’s back to ballad land.  When I first reviewed it, the song’s first half was VERY uneventful and I barely paid attention to it.  Once the drums are added, the song has new life and hearing electric guitars was cool as well.  I don’t know, but this song is still trying to decide whether if it fits on the good parts of the album or the bad…meeeh

Tracks Recommended

  • Akashi
  • Light of Dawn
  • Seiro Koukou
  • sensonia
  • Signal Graph

Song of Avoidance

  • Hello Mellow

For someone that’s well-known in the anison world, Annabel’s debut album is really good for what it’s worth.  Even though it’s been 3-4 years in the making, miniascape is actually a pretty solid album with the only problems were in the last stretch of the album where it was ballad after ballad.  I hope it doesn’t take as long for her second album…still…great anison album (actually might be my favorite of the anison artists this year). 

 

Annabel – Light of Dawn November 29, 2012

Filed under: Annabel — solarblade @ 9:47 pm

Track Listing

  1. Light of Dawn
  2. torus
  3. Light of Dawn (off vocal)
  4. torus (off vocal)

1. Light of Dawn

I didn’t expect Annabel to make her next single to be something a bit more upbeat and kind of unusual in a way.  I kind of like the atmospheric synth style in this track because it feels like such a different kind of song that really doesn’t fit the anison style.  Annabel’s vocals though are really pretty though!  Great song and even better than “My heaven”!

2. torus

The B-side, torus is kind of like another “filum” in that it’s another one of those super quiet ballads.  It does have a longing feel to it with the slow beat and with the oboe and strings acting as the melody…it really has a depressing feeling.  It’s interesting, but nothing I’ll fully remember.

 

 

As the second single, I have to say Light of Dawn is better than her debut which is saying a lot since I liked her last single.  Light of Dawn is probably my favorite of the A-sides which is amazing!  torus is growing on me slowly with it’s depressing outlook and slow-moving arrangement.  Great single *RECOMMENDED*

 

Annabel – My heaven

Filed under: Annabel — solarblade @ 9:29 pm

Track Listing

  1. My heaven
  2. filum
  3. My heaven (off vocal)
  4. filum (off vocal)

1. My heaven

Going back to Annabel’s debut as a solo artist, My heaven is not what I expected coming into the track because it’s quiet and yet mysterious to listen to which is an interesting and great mix since I do enjoy Annabel’s ballads for the most part.  It’s a really soothing track from her and stands out amongst the other A-sides she released.

2. filum

The B-side is also a quiet ballad as well!  It doesn’t get as good as “My heaven” did since it stays in it’s dreamscape sound which is also fine with me because it’s like a song that I would hear in an RPG (though not sure what game…maybe FFX?).  It’s a really sweet and quiet track and I love that the most about it.

 

 

After all the stuff she’s done for binaria and anNina, Annabel decided to tackle a solo career and with her debut My heaven, she seemed to really nail it on the head!  The lead track is just so good and I lvoe how it flows and grows into such a great song!  filum, while not as extravagant is also worth a listen for Annabel’s vocals and soft atmosphere…great single to debut with!

 

Annabel – Signal Graph July 23, 2012

Filed under: Annabel — solarblade @ 7:48 am

Track Listing

  1. Signal Graph
  2. STEP AHEAD
  3. Signal Graph (inst.)
  4. STEP AHEAD (inst.)

1. Signal Graph

I’m happy that Annabel changed up her sound for Signal Graph which is nice that’s it’s upbeat and features a lot of synths.  Her voice sounds happy alongside the interesting arrangement which features said synths, a little guitar, and piano.  It’s not as powerful as like “Above your hand” but the overall change of sound is very welcomed!

2. STEP AHEAD

I guess it works enough that the B-side has a lot of synths as well and makes me of an impact because it has more guitars and a heavier beat to go along.  While I don’t know if Annabel’s fit the style, but I like her light vocals against the music.  It’s pretty good but I think Annabel didn’t get powerful for this track.

 

 

I like that she changed her sound with this single.  Instead of the normal anison song she switched and went into more of a synth-heavy anison track and for the most part stood out to me than her previous singles.  Overall, I did enjoy Signal Graph a bit better but STEP AHEAD was good too.

 

Annabel – Above your hand May 30, 2012

Filed under: Annabel — solarblade @ 11:17 pm

Track Listing

  1. Above your hand
  2. blind hunger
  3. Above your hand (Instrumental)
  4. blind hunger (Instrumental)

1. Above your hand

I know I ever really got into “anamnesis” and all that but Above your hand once again finds itself going the ballad route and all.  Personally, I find that having just an acoustic guitar as the base of the song is just a little more than underwhelming.  The nice thing is that backup vocals are present and gives this cold, wintry feel…but when they aren’t there, the song is quite lifeless and just screams for something more.  At least at the halfway point, the song gains drums and the action sounds a LOT better than before.  SLOW start but once you get half-way it becomes quite good…odd song.

2. blind hunger

The B-side is kind of funky and kind of goes back to her “noctiluca” mini since it’s pretty different but at the same time quite unique for her.  I feel like the song has a lot of interesting moves and the chorus is pretty friggin sweet to listen to.  There’s a lot of piano here which is cool, but it’s like erratic and doesn’t have a solid melody so it just kind of plays lazily along (I guess that’s the term I could use).  Still pretty cool track!

 

 

Annabel’s third/fifth? who knows what number single this might be, Above your hand actually is a bit better than “anamnesis” just simply because both songs so com off as pretty good.  blind hunger is definitely a great B-side to listen to since it’s unique and random to listen to.  The leading track though does start off on a boring foot…but gradually gets better in time.  Where’s Annabel’s first album? 😄

 

Annabel – anamnesis February 6, 2012

Filed under: Annabel — solarblade @ 10:10 pm

Track Listing

  1. anamnesis
  2. closed world
  3. anamnesis (Off Vocal)
  4. closed world (Off Vocal)

1. anamnesis

I kind of was not expecting anamnesis to be a ballad from Annabel, but I guess I should’ve paid more attention haha.  It’s kind of simple with Annabel, strings and piano in the song which is nice and it’s got a little of a dramtic feel to it.  Besides that there’s not much else to say about it, it’s a pretty song and all…but I don’t know if it’s really A-side worthy.

2. closed world

Odd to see that Annabel would make closed world a B-side because it sounds more like an A-side than “anamnesis” does.  I mean it’s got guitars and an upbeat feel to it.  Though I have to admit, I didn’t see Annabel tackle a pop/rock style but it’s rather cool and her vocals fit nicely in this style. 

 

 

I really don’t know what era this is going in (if there’s one in the first place…she seems to release on her own accord).  Though I don’t think this single was as good as “ignis”.  I didn’t understand why anamnesis was the A-side since it doesn’t really sound like an A-side unlike closed world which did…confusing huh?

 

Annabel – ignis May 3, 2011

Filed under: Annabel — solarblade @ 12:43 am

Track Listing

  1. ignis
  2. pulse
  3. innocent flame
  4. ignis -instrumental-
  5. innocent flame -instrumental-

1. ignis

The first thing I start to think when I begin listening to ignis is….what the hell Annabel, this sounds like something school food punishment would exactly release.  It has that same mood, but less synthy which is kind of ironic yet pretty cool since there’s someone else that like’s this kind of music.  Annabel’s vocals do kind of get strained sometimes…but it’s nothing damaging to the song…it’s still pretty good ^_^

2. pulse

Seeing as pulse is kind of the interlude of the single, it’s a just simple and mostly has a guitar-based sound to it…but also feels almost odd since there’s little twists here and there.  The only thing that’s vocally audible from Annabel is her breathing and then sounds like something she sung but played backwards…it’s a freaky interlude overall, but kind of cool too.

3. innocent flame

Beginning the song, it sounds like Annabel is singing in a different language almost…perhaps French?!?  I’m not sure to be honest, but it sounds quite chilling yet almost epic.  The arrangement is also kind of mix of dance, ethereal pop, and maybe slightly rockin’ since there’s a good amount of guitars in this song.  It does go back to quiet and then back to rockin’ which is a bit weird I guess, but it’s still a great track

Annabel’s first single after her mini-album, ignis is quite an upgrade for some reason.  “Noctiluca” was pretty boring after a while with the exception of one song because it was upbeat.  The others lacked interest for me and were slow.  This time things look well for this single as the two main songs are nice to listen to and the interlude was interesting as well.  I could see myself getting into her music if she continues like this.