Kurayami Monogatari

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Ataru Nakamura – Kikoeru May 5, 2012

Filed under: Ataru Nakamura — solarblade @ 8:01 am

Track Listing

  1. Time Machine
  2. DONE! DONE!
  3. Tsubasa wo Motta Shounen
  4. Heinetsu
  5. Fuusen Onna PART2
  6. Misemono Goya Kara
  7. Mata Ashita
  8. Datsuryoku Shiyou yo
  9. Sekai ga Moetsukiru Made
  10. ~Toki no Hakobune~
  11. Yami no Mannaka

1. Time Machine

Ataru starts off her album on a low note with Time Machine.  I do like that it really was only piano and her vocals at first before it grew into more sounds and dramatics.  A little basic at times but this song is a pleasant little first song…good vocals too. 

2. DONE! DONE!

I do think DONE! DONE! coming after such a slow song in “Time Machine” is a little absurd because this tune is more pop/rock and has a bit more bite as well.  Ataru’s vocals have gotten a bit higher as well in this song so it sounds a little different pitch-wise to me.  I feel as if there could’ve been more energy as well which could’ve provided with me more enjoyment…but this song isn’t half bad actually.

3. Tsubasa wo Motta Shounen

Moving from upbeat pop/rock to fluffy pop with a flute being the main instrument in the intro is quite freaky lol.  I do like its laidback sound a lot and kind of has this nostalgic charm for some reason.  I will say that I’m not too big of a fan of Ataru’s vocals in the chorus…it sounds weak and forced.  It’s a cute song though and the music would feel great if Ataru wasn’t really singing it TBH.

4. Heinetsu

Things slow down once again when we get into our fourth track, Heinetsu.  For the most part, it’s an acoustic song but that’s pretty nice since it’s simple yet memorable for me because Ataru’s vocals and the lyrical melody works here.  The speaking part in the middle is random, but for the most part, I really enjoyed that song!

5. Fuusen Onna PART2

Is there a PART1?  I’m not even sure myself since I haven’t delved far in the past….hmmm might be an answer song.  I love the whole blues style we got outta this song quite a bit!  I mean I love the amount of bass riffs and Ataru’s soothing vocals seem to stick to the song like glue.  I quite like this as well ^_^

6. Misemono Goya Kara

It just seems Ataru is going at her own pace on this album for some reason.  Misemono Goya Kara kind of sounds like enka-ish/mediterranean but is neither because Ataru isn’t singing in those styles.  Once again it sounds a little dramatic in places and I love the sound of it altogether.

7. Mata Ashita

Moving onto another ballad (this time piano-based), Mata Ashita is a song where I’d get bored easily and it officially happens here sadly hahaha.  As heartfelt and simple the tune might be, the melody doesn’t seem to really interest me much.  I mean it’ll definitely might perk up her fans since it’s nice and calm and such but not my thing…it’s still nice I guess.

8. Datsuryoku Shiyou yo

After that, we needed another charming song to fill the headphones.  It’s more of a mid-tempo song but it’s got a bluesy vibe as well like “Fuusen Onna PART2”.  I mean it’s a bit brighter and is shows because of Ataru’s vocals.  I kind of enjoyed this a lot for some reason.  Hahaha, not typical for me I guess.

9. Sekai ga Moetsukiru Made

It feels like we’re going back in time with Sekai ga Moetsukiru Made since it has that whole old feel to it.  I must say that Ataru really gave a strong performance here and did a solid job for the song…but I feel like some of the other tunes do sound better.  Still a pretty sweet song overall. 

10. ~Toki no Hakobune~

The lone interlude before entering our final song, ~Toki no Hakobune~ is really just a two minute with a piano melody that really only goes between two notes which is quite uneventive…but there’s little things going on that are quieter than it should be…but I guess overall it’s OK…just nothing special.

11. Yami no Mannaka

The final song and was used as promotion, Yami no Mannaka did a pretty poor job since none of the album sounds like ANYTHING on the album so it feels rather unusual.  What I mean here is that this song is electro and quite a unique style for the album…add in the fact that it’s also the longest track at 7 minutes.  It’s funny but I loved it when I saw the PV for it and showcases Ataru’s strengths in a good light ^_^.  I’m just surprised that this closed the album…very unusual for me like I said.

Tracks Recommended

  • Yami no Mannaka
  • Datsuryoku Shiyou yo
  • Heinetsu
  • Fuusen Onna PART2
  • Sekai ga Moetsukiru Made

Song of Avoidance

  • Tsubasa wa Motta Shounen

It seems like Ataru has found her footing for her second album under Yamaha.  I felt like Kikoeru brought her back into something a lot more interesting and varied and altogether was a much stronger package than “Shounen Shoujo”.

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Ataru Nakamura – Shounen Shoujo October 6, 2010

Filed under: Ataru Nakamura — solarblade @ 11:57 pm

Track Listing

  1. Iede Shoujo
  2. Koko wa, Kaze no Machi
  3. Dokuhaku
  4. Hatsukoi
  5. Himitsu
  6. Ningen Shikkaku
  7. Tabibito Damono
  8. Sensou wo Shiranai Bokura no Sensou
  9. Seishun Deshita
  10. Tomodachi ni Naritai
  11. Furyou Shounen

1. Iede Shoujo

Beginning the album off with the only single representing this.  I think Iede Shoujo began the era nicely since it wasn’t totally out of Ataru’s range and is more simpler than most of the songs from her last album.  I still think the chorus is definitely one of the strongest I’ve heard in a while and that’s a good thing.  Great way to begin things.

2. Koko wa, Kaze no Machi

I love that little riff that opens up our next song since it’s explosive and full of energy.  Ataru’s vocals of course are sounding really good and fits with the rockin’ arrangement.  I think this style fits her quite well amongst the various other styles she’s done through her career. I think I’m enjoying this a lot right now.

3. Dokuhaku

I guess Dokuhaku takes things even more lighter and in a strange way makes it sound rather different.  Instead of like singing at first, Ataru speaks for a few lines before breaking into a rather short and loud singing part.  The music is also a bit lighter and almost funky…still…Ataru should’ve sang a bit more since I’m kind of confused.  Even that high pitch squeak was enough to basically turn me off.  It’s not as radical as “Trunk Song” from her last album…but it’s close.

4. Hatsukoi

At least we slow down for a bit with Hatsukoi.  I actually liked the simplicity of the song, but Ataru is kind of stressing pretty much most of the verses because it’s no steady and kind of goes under the notes.  It’s kind of strange that she has to enter a more falsetto style for the tune and it’s beyond pitchy.  I don’t know why, but at least the chorus was very nice and much improvement happened there.

5. Himitsu

At least things are gonna get more interesting with Himitsu which is fortunately a more jazz-oriented song, but once again we have to deal with Ataru’s falsetto vocals which oddly fits more appropriately than in “Hatsukoi”.  It’s also nicely quiet compared to like other jazzy tunes this year so I liked it, but I would’ve preferred lower tones than falsetto to be honest.

6. Ningen Shikkaku

I’m kind of going back to something interesting with Ningen Shikkaku.  Of course it’s a bit similar to “Iede Shoujo”, but I don’t think it’s a bad thing since they are better songs from the album.  I guess my only baffle is that it’s not totally as powerful like the song that began Shounen Shoujo.

7. Tabibito Damono

I’m starting to think that the album actually has better rock songs than her last album.  I really do think she’s getting more used to her vocals a bit better, but it’s not like she’s trying to sound feminine really which might in the long run make her stand out.  If I didn’t know any better, I prolly would’ve said this was sung by a guy (then again most of the songs I’ve heard kind of fits that category.  Definitely the strongest song off the album though.

8. Sensou wo Shiranai Bokura no Sensou

As the album’s longest song, Sensou wo Shiranai Bokura no Sensou begins quite solemnly.  It’s definitely not like the other songs off the album which is great to hear for sure.  I mean it’s still pretty much a ballad as things go, but it’s still something that was needed to break to monotony just a bit.  About halfway though, the song explodes quite loudly and introduces guitars and heavy drums…at this point of the song, it does sound a bit messy and kind of pushes Ataru to the extreme on some notes.  It’s still a tad bit long for me, but it’s still a good tune.

9. Seishun Deshita

I thought the beginning for Seishun Deshita was pretty adorable and simple with Ataru ad-libbing and ending it with ~seishun~ everytime.  Once she comes in though, things become pretty cute, but once again simple like the arrangement.  It does sound totally different from the other songs here and I liked the simplicity, if not her vocals here.

10. Tomodachi ni Naritai

There’s just something a little more bland found for Tomodachi ni Naritai since it’s well…another ballad.  I will say though that Ataru’s vocals are quite sweet and pretty to listen to, even if she’s kind of using falsetto here.  I wish it did grow into something a bit more grand, but it just stayed as a piano-only song.

11. Furyou Shounen

Since “Iede Shoujo” represents the girl half of the title track, Furyou Shounen represents the boy half and as it does it closes the album up as well.  Now this was what I was wanting “Tomodachi ni Naritai” to somewhat sound like because it’s got such a nice flow to it and the electric guitars are pretty strong when they are playing.  Ehhh, it’s alright and makes a good final song for sure.

Tracks Recommended

  • Tabibito Damono
  • Koko wa, Kaze no Machi
  • Seishun Deshita
  • Iede Shoujo

Song of Avoidance

  • Dokuhaku

There’s just something about Ataru’s first album under Yamaha that kind of struck out for me when compared to her previous album, “Ashita wa Haremasu You ni”.  I didn’t think most of the songs were up to snuff and kind of ended up forgettable for the most part.  Still, it’s not a totally bad first album on a new label so w/e I guess.

 

Ataru Nakamura – Iede Shoujo June 5, 2010

Filed under: Ataru Nakamura — solarblade @ 12:04 pm

Track Listing

  1. Iede Shoujo
  2. Kaereru Basho Nante, Nai
  3. Futatabi (hidden track)

1. Iede Shoujo

After making a transfer from avex to Yamaha, I was wondering where Ataru was going to take her career next and with Iede Shoujo went with a pop/rock ballad for her first single of a new era and chapter.  Now Ataru has been kind of the weird artist for me because of her sexual change that clearly didnt affect her voice much because in this tune she sounds a bit like Nissy from AAA.  It’s not that I bag on the girl’s voice cuz it sounds manly (ala lecca)…XD…it’s just that well…I thought vocals would’ve gotten more higher and iono girlier?  It’s something I’m not used to.  Still the song is pretty good and Ataru’s vocals are fitting here as well.

2. Kaereru Basho Nante, Nai

I didn’t expect the B-side to be a jazz tune more or less.  Though I felt Ataru’s vocal performance was really lacking in this song for some reason.  I did say I wanted to hear Ataru at a higher pitch, but this was just pushing the limits and not in a good way.  Poor girl was straining to no end and she was squeaking too.  I’d tell ya, it’s my first time that I was disappointed with a B-side from her.

3. Futatabi

However, looking at the time of the song being 8 minutes…I wasn’t expecting a secret track, nonetheless on a single!  The tune is basically Ataru singing acappella and in the high register, almost in a opera style and I thought that was amazingly pretty.  After the long intro, the song picks up a simple R&B beat and she sings along with the beat.  I still think the ending, is a little sudden, but makes for a good climax to this song.

 

 

I don’t know why Ataru left avex trax for Yamaha…but her first single for the era is kind of bad compared to “Kaze Tachinu” and “Kotonakare Shugi”.  The A-side is pretty good…maybe a smidge bland, but still pretty good with Ataru’s vocals.  The B-side though was a hot mess and turned me off completely here…However, Futatabi was surprisingly good and makes full use of Ataru’s vocals.  Hope this was just a stepping stone for her upcoming days with Yamaha.

 

Ataru Nakamura – Ashita wa Haremasu You ni December 15, 2009

Filed under: Ataru Nakamura — solarblade @ 11:37 pm

Track Listing

  1. Chigire Kumo
  2. Typhoon Keihou
  3. Sayonara wa Iwanai de
  4. Hataraki Mono.
  5. Meinichi
  6. Kaze Tachinu
  7. Trunk Song
  8. Ringo no Kawamuki
  9. Kotonakare Shugi
  10. Chewing Gum
  11. “Soba ni Iru Koto.”
  12. Kodama

1. Chigire Kumo

Opening up the album, Chigire Kuno begins with Ataru singing by herself.  It’s kind of nice and she’s got a good voice to back that up as well.  The music is kind of barren at first, but as the song progresses, things start to become more better and Ataru sings more louder.  Even though it’s a 3 minute opening, Chigire Kumo shows how a soft song can become a fiery beast.  I like this opening a lot.

2. Typhoon Keihou

After the great opening, Typhoon Keihou opens up very loudly with pounding drums and violins as well.  It’s great to hear Ataru have a strong vocal ability and a strange one because of she used to being a guy.  It really brings out these one of a kind of vocals that oddly fit.  Typhoon Keihou is just perfect to show off these vocals and with the angst feeling going on, I have to say I was impressed.

3. Sayonara wa Iwanai de

While the first section of the album concentrates on the rock arrangements, I have to say that while Sayonara wa Iwanai de is a rock ballad, I wasn’t too impressed with the song otherwise.  It seems Ataru was a little meh with the song, but I do like how I was listening to a guy xD

4. Hataraki Mono.

We slow things down a little bit further with Hataraki Mono. which seems to be an acoustic based song.  It’s a bit Western sounding as well, but it’s nice and Ataru sounds great with the arrangement.  The guitar solo is weird though I’ll say that.  Messy? maybe…

5. Meinichi

Now we get into the actual ballads of the album starting with Meinichi.  It’s so weird when Ataru just makes you change your mind because of the vocal switch to a more lady-like sound which nice and it fits with the piano-only arrangement.  After the halfway point, strings are added, but still this is a nice ballad, but it isn’t as nice as…

6. Kaze Tachinu

The first song of the era, Kaze Tachinu brings out the better vocals and is in fact a much more interesting ballad.  While her vocals keep going back and forth between high and low, it isn’t until the chorus where things get better with more instruments and how strong she’s singing.  Though I do question why there was a small synth solo…it was just wrong, but other places it was pretty good.

7. Trunk Song

I thought Trunk Song was the song to basically break the album straight in half.  It has a ragtime arrangement of course which is great because it’s new and I’ve never heard anyone else pull this off.  Sadly, the Ataru is creepy in the verses because of her vocals…it’s just wacky and the sillyness of the song jsut feels rather caked on the album.

8. Ringo no Kawamuki

I really don’t know what to think about Ringo no Kawamuki, this time instead of ragtime, the song feels like a waltz…I mean there’s accordion, a bouncy arrangement and Ataru singing in a higher pitch.  It’s just a very strange setting for me and her vocals haven’t really gotten better as well…those higher notes are just annoying…

9. Kotonakare Shugi

I guess having a peppy jazzy song is a good thing because that’s what makes Kotonakare Shugi so much better than the previous two songs.  The song has the right amount of fun and stable vocals to make me want to listen to this over and over.  I just love Ataru’s interest in the song and she gets into it really well.

10. Chewing Gum

Wait….what’s this?  Is this the same Chewing Gum from AAA’s 2006 A-side?  Why yes it is…it took Ataru three years to actually get this song on this album?  Though Ataru’s version is a bit more like her style since it’s got a pop/rock style going here.  Oh yea, this is just only Ataru singing so don’t expect the guys to appear.  I like the track and IMO is better than AAA’s but that’s just my opinion here.

11. “Soba ni Iru Koto.”

I kind of like the lullaby qualities that make up “Soba ni Iru Koto.”.  However, things basically stay the same for the majority of the song.  It does build up, but it goes back into a more empty arrangement afterwards.  Not the most intriguing song, but it’s alright.

12. Kodama

The longest song off the album reaching 7 minutes in length, Kodama is rather interesting.  It has a smooth composition and with an underwater feeling going on, Kodama is nice right from the start.  Ataru joins in after a bit and fits right in quite nicely.  Her vocals are a bit shady again, but the song’s easy listening style made this a good ending to the album.

Tracks Recommended

  • Typhoon Keihou
  • Kotonakare Shugi
  • Kodama
  • Chewing Gum
  • Chigire Kumo

Song of Avoidance

  • Trunk Song

Since this album was Ataru’s 3rd album released, Ashita wa Haremasu You ni is a pretty straightforward and good album.  However, the bizarre experimental songs were just really weird and didn’t suit Ataru’s vocals period.  However the rock and ballad stuff was spot on and I liked that.  Good album, but damn layoff the weird songs.

 

Ataru Nakamura – Kotonakare Shugi July 23, 2009

Filed under: Ataru Nakamura — solarblade @ 4:10 am

kotonakare shugi

Track Listing

  1. Kotonakare Shugi
  2. Tabako
  3. Heya Souji

1. Kotonakare Shugi

Kotonakare Shugi is a bit more upbeat than I’m used to from her.  Though, Ataru is using her male vocals which threw me off big time because if you didn’t know who sung it, you would instantly think it’d be a guy singing….(though it somewhat is).  I don’t know, but the song is pretty good and it suits Ataru’s jazzy style.  I think I really like the song despite the confusing gender issues here.

2. Tabako

It’s so weird that we go from “Kotonakare Shugi’s” more upbeat nature to a slower jazz track with Tabako.  Her vocals are a bit more fitting now, but I can still hear male-ish vocals, but I won’t fault Ataru for it as she’s an interesting singer all-around.  Now the song seems to flow really nicely and showed much of her work and I like it alot.

3. Heya Souji

Being the shortest track off the single, Ataru delves into country music for this B-side.  I won’t question why she chose to do a song in this genre as it sounds more or less sameish, but it does stand out on the single becuase of the whole playful sounding that’s comng from the arrangement.  Ataru does take her vocals a bit softer and I thought it was pleasant. 

 

 

Wow, I thought “Kaze Tachinu” was amazing, but Kotonakare Shugi totally stumped it.  The titular track and Tabako were nicely arranged jazz tracks because well, she’s so comfortable in that genre and moreso that she composes em herself is good too.  Heya Souji is a bit strange being country and all that, but being short actually made the blow not painful, great single and way to end off the era,

 

Ataru Nakamura – Kaze Tachinu April 13, 2009

Filed under: Ataru Nakamura — solarblade @ 1:10 am
Tags: , , ,

Track Listing

  1. Kaze Tachinu
  2. Mayoi Ko
  3. Kama Kou Ei ~Tanpopo~

1. Kaze Tachinu

Ataru begins her 3rd era with a ballad.  Kaze Tachinu is a pretty heartfelt ballad and her vocals are pretty soothing to listen to.  There such a grand feeling to the song and it flows really well, including the minor synth passage the comes along to the song.  I just love how her voice just resonates with the track, what a great way to start the era.  At some points I hear her male sounding vocals which is really good, but definitly making Ataru stand out from the rest of the ballad forward singers.

2. Mayoi Ko

Our first B-side is definitly interesting.  It’s basically a mix of blues and folk and enka which is a daunting task, but Ataru passes with its intricate melody and strong vocals from Ataru.  It’s exciting for sure and just brought the fun side of her out, great B-side.

3. Kama Kou Ei ~Tanpopo~

Kama Kou Ei is also a ballad, not surprising.  Just only having a piano backing her up, Ataru showcases more of her vocals here and it actually was a good idea.  Pretty nice way to end the single off with a simple song. 

 

 

Ataru Nakamura is a force to be reckon with IMO.  Her voice has such strength and with the whole controversy behind her, she’s really stepped into being a lady pretty well, because this single was downright beautiful.  Kaze Tachinu and Kama Kou Ei were perfect examples of how ballads should sound like and Mayoi Ko showed a playful side to her music.  What a great single overall *RECOMMENDED*