Kurayami Monogatari

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Berryz Koubou – 1st Chou Berryz September 20, 2015

Filed under: Berryz Koubou — solarblade @ 7:06 am

1stchouberryz

Track Listing

  1. Anata Nashi de wa Ikite Yukenai
  2. Piriri to Yukou!
  3. Nicchoku ~Geinoujin no Kaiwa~
  4. Fighting Pose wa Date ja nai!
  5. Koi wa Hipparidako
  6. Semi
  7. Anshinkan
  8. Kozukai UP Daisakusen
  9. TODAY IS MY BIRTHDAY
  10. Bye Bye Mata ne
  11. Anata Nashi de wa Ikite Yukenai (FUNKY Remix)
  12. Hello! no Theme (Berryz Koubou Version)

1. Anata Nashi de wa Ikite Yukenai

I’m still surprised a young group like Berryz would debut with a cool song like this!  The album opens up with this song and oddly enough takes a more pop/hip-hop kind of arrangement and works around that.  I’m liking that a lot of this song has a strong beat, but I’m not enjoying how much Tsunku is in this song (couple times, he seems to cover up the girls way too much).  Beyond that, I’m loving how much Maasa led in this song over Risako and Miyabi (figures because there was no lead vocalists when they debuted).  Still, it’s a cool way to kick things off!

2. Piriri to Yukou!

Which follows into their 3rd single (and the one before the album was released).  It is a bit of a stark contrast that the energy of the group went from this cool style of the previous track to some kind of hokey and fun song.  I do love that all 8 members do get a solo line (2 no less!) and I just enjoy listening to this song as it’s just goofy and catchy as hell plus the shimasen parts is so random xD  Awesome song!

3. Nicchoku ~Geinoujin no Kaiwa~

So I guess to kind of split the A-sides a little, we get our first new track in Nicchoku.  I’m not sure how to describe it beyond it’s a funky kind of dance track for the group.  We do see all members get solo lines again and while this isn’t a case where I thought it was nice to hear them, Nicchoku kind of presents at how weak they were as singers when they were in debut because none of them sound that good here especially Risako and Chinami (both had some odd pitches).

4. Fighting Pose wa Date ja nai!

Then we move into their 2nd single and while I do deem it as the weakest A-side from the album, it actually sounds decent on the album and cleans the palette after “Nicchoku’s” weird mess.  I do enjoy the summer beach vibes going on in this song and the girls show off a cuter side to them after their cool debut.  It’s definitely a song that’s grown on me with each listen though so that’s always a good thing!

5. Koi wa Hipparidako

As the rest of the album straightens out to be new tracks, we hit Koi wa Hipparidako and it’s another cutesy song for the group, but for some reason in the time period of the group, this song sounds ultimately generic to me and some of the chords oddly remind me of “ALL FOR ONE & ONE FOR ALL” in the weirdest way.  Once again, it’s nice to see Captain, Maasa, Chinami, and Maiha get the first lines of the song, but it does slowly in a way show the hierarchy when the remaining for gets a lot more lines.  Forgetful track, but it seems to be a popular one for the group.

6. Semi

Same can be said for Semi too!  I’m loving that the album has so far not had a strong desire to feature Miyabi, Risako, Yurina, and Momoko at the front.  Right from the start, I was loving the acoustic sound of the track, but then kind of frowning at the layering of the girls’ vocals (sounded really odd to me).  It’s a nice autumn-like song though and the arrangement is pretty pleasant, but I kind of wish this was resung because there’s a lot of straining and yelling in this one and it really doesn’t call for that, ruins the feelings I had lol.

7. Anshinkan

Yup, another concert favorite, Anshinkan has a pop/rock kind of sound to it that would’ve sounded nice back in the 80s or something hahaha!  Not sure what else to say about this one because it kind of flew over my head, but there’s some interesting parts.  In a way, I can’t really say it’s generic because there wasn’t anything to fully compare to it maybe early Momusu, but meh.

8. Kozukai UP Daisakusen

So, this is a song that doesn’t get mentioned much and I can see why.  This song is definitely the weak link to the album for many reasons.  The tune itself is set as a slow reggae tune which wouldn’t normally bother me, but as this is a first album, this might have been a wrong turn.  Second the girls are once again under filters and some slight echo effects and it’s rather frightening to listen to.

9. TODAY IS MY BIRTHDAY

I actually was wondering what this one would sound like and I was slightly worried it would’ve been an overly sugary song, but this is kind of sounding a little more serious than other track, but I do like the dance beat and handclaps that flesh out the song.  I think of all the new songs from the album, this one stuck out the best for me…catchy and the girls sound decent without the use of filters!

10. Bye Bye Mata ne

Ending the main songs out, I wasn’t surprised one bit that Bye Bye Mata ne would be a ballad (known more as the song that Maiha graduated with).  It does sound really sad, even though the arrangement sounds a bit more positive otherwise.  It’s a nice track up until the chorus where the girls are a little screechy and a slight bit shouty.  Decent ending though.

11. Anata Nashi de wa Ikite Yukenai (FUNKY Remix)

Funny how the remix for their debut begins with traffic and then a funky, saxophone-laced arrangement before adding some other funk-based sounds and rhythms.  Honestly, if it wasn’t the melody from the lyrics I wouldn’t have made the connection due to the messy arrangement.  It’s a really bizarre remix and hearing Berryz singing the song just adds to the strange factor…*shakes head*

12. Hello! no Theme (Berryz Koubou Version)

Ending the album, we get a version of this Hello! Project theme.  Originally sung by the trio groups of Akagumi, Kiiro, and Aoiro, Hello! no Theme has never been a favorite of mine and while it is the shorted from this album, Berryz regardless of how they did, this song sucks xD.  I’m not a fan of the repetition mostly and since they do it SOOO much in this song, I grew tired of it.  This one does sound more appropriate for the young Berryz, but still not into it at all.

Tracks Recommended

  • TODAY IS MY BIRTHDAY
  • Piriri to Yukou!
  • Anata Nashi de wa Ikite Yukenai
  • Fighting Pose wa Date ja nai!

Song of Avoidance

  • Kozukai UP Daisakusen

I thought I was going to be impressed by Berryz’ debut album, but 1st Chou Berryz kind of flopped for me.  I mean beyond the fact that we were dealing with members who hadn’t started puberty yet, their vocals were still pretty dodgy and none of the new songs (sans TODAY IS MY BIRTHDAY) really impressed me any.  I know in time they’ll get better but damn XD.

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Berryz Koubou – Romance wo Katatte/Towa no Uta November 19, 2014

Filed under: Berryz Koubou — solarblade @ 2:51 am

初回C_H1-4

Track Listing

  1. Romance wo Katatte
  2. Towa no Uta
  3. Romance wo Katatte (Instrumental)
  4. Towa no Uta (Instrumental)

1. Romance wo Katatte

Coming into the winter months, I was really surprised Berryz final primary A-side would be a wintry tune of sorts even though some of it kind of sounds like the classic Beatles tune “Here Comes the Sun” at least in the introduction.  It does feel like it’s been a long time since we’ve heard some synth horns used for Berryz.  I really enjoy the lower tones for the verses, but beyond that, the song kind of just goes by me, but hey it’s a Winter song and we’ve hadn’t gotten that from the group as an A-side.  Though this being their final one, this is rather disappointing as a final song or the group.

2. Towa no Uta

The other A-side though kind of felt more like the goodbye song for the group, but at the same time it seriously reminds me of Buono! with it’s kind of pop/rock arrangement.  Though they didn’t forget some EDM shades here and there which is rather nice to hear as it’s not overboard like a lot of the releases that came from H!P this year.  I will say, the line distributio is kind of falling mostly on Risako, Yurina, Miyabi, and Momoko which is pretty much the neutral preset.  It’s OK, but definitely not on their highest levels.

 

 

Yup, Berryz is coming to its conclusion and I was not surprised as all the girls didn’t feel like they were totally 100% together.  So I’m happy they’ll be moving onto different endeavors and I’ve enjoyed the ride.  As for the single, I was not into this single being their last one especially with the previous one “Ai wa Itsumo Kimi no Naka ni/Fuutsu, Idol 10nen Yattaranai Desho!?” being SO DAMN GOOD!  Something felt so nonconclusive about this release like it wasn’t even a final single.  Romance wo Katatte while a fitting seasonal track, felt weak and kind of plain (and could’ve fit S/mileage more tbh).  At least Towa no Uta struck me a little better, maybe a little more evident as a final tune (though their upcoming best album has that trophy).  So, it’s basically how I felt ManoEri ended her H!P days with “NEXT MY SELF”, kind of a boring single and disappointing end single for the group.

 

Berryz Koubou – Ai wa Itsumo Kimi no Naka ni/Fuutsu, Idol 10nen Yattaranai Desho!? June 2, 2014

Filed under: Berryz Koubou — solarblade @ 6:29 am

Bryz_SgTA-愛はいつも_CDh14

Track Listing

  1. Ai wa Itsumo Kimi no Naka ni
  2. Fuutsu, Idol 10nen Yattaranai Desho!?
  3. Ai wa Itsumo Kimi no Naka ni (Instrumental)
  4. Fuutsu, Idol 10nen Yattaranai Desho!? (Instrumental)

1. Ai wa Itsumo Kimi no Naka ni

Tsunku is just making these darker songs so good!  I don’t know why but the melody with the strings remind me of DKC2…especially those tower themes.  I really love the beat and the quickness of the lyrics, plus all the girls give a lot oomph.  Really, this song is just impressive because of the damn arrangement, mixing the dramatic strings, march, and dance beats.  I thought this tune really felt like a high hitter!

2. Fuutsu, Idol 10nen Yattaranai Desho!?

I didn’t think anything couldn’t top the awesomeness of the primary A-side, but I was proven wrong with this song which is to sort of celebrate Berryz being together for 10 years.  The dance beats are a bit heavier but the song is a bit slower so it’s really a different feel.  I really love the verses, and the saxophone quips, plus it’s great to hear more Chinami and Maasa in this one.  The thing that gets me is the horse sounds and banjo inclusion.  The former is there because it’s the Year of the Horse and all that, but the banjo was surprisingly not annoying (since Tsunku really cheeses it up when he uses it with the other groups IMO).  Seriosuly a good song and very good for them for their 10 years.

 

 

Berryz just seems to be on a roll in 2014.  Ai wa Itsumo Kimi no Naka ni and Fuutsu, Idol 10nen… are just such a good pairing of songs from the group.  One being darker and more in your face and the other, a sentimental tune that celebrates the group’s longevity.  I really think this’ll be a great year for them since they haven’t disappointed me yet!

 

Berryz Koubou – Otona na no yo!/1-oku 3-Zenman Sou Diet Oukoku February 20, 2014

Filed under: Berryz Koubou — solarblade @ 7:25 pm

1oku3zenman

Track Listing

  1. Otona na no yo!
  2. 1-oku 3-Zenman Sou Diet Oukoku
  3. Otona na no yo! (Instrumental)
  4. 1-oku 3-Zenman Sou Diet Oukoku (Instrumental)

1. Otona na no yo!

When I heard this song, it reminded me instantly of “Aa, Yo ga Akeru” with that kind of sexy, chill sound but still kind of has that H!P sound to it.  Though this song kind of failed in a couple areas like the whole ~I know, whoa, whoa, whoa~ area as it sounded so weird and melodically kind of just didn’t work….plus Maasa sounded so over it in that part lol.  Plus it did get overshadowed by its sister A-side.  Overall, it’s not their past but it’s an alright track.

2. 1-oku 3-Zenman Sou Diet Oukoku

Yup, with such a title like this, I wasn’t sure what we were getting (and it was kind of shady by making a diet song xD).  What I didn’t expect was a song that was so wtf-worthy.  I mean it started normal like a Tsunku electro tune but the song grows into this collision course of odd proportions like the ~doitsumo koitsumo~ and ~nengararenjuu~ lines which are SO repetitive but they’re so cool sounding that I kind of forgive it lol.  Overall, this song is really good and something I was hoping Berryz would get after the year they had in 2013.

 

 

As their first single of 2014, Otona na no yo!/1-oku 3-Zenman Sou Diet Oukoku was a pretty good single and worked a bit better than their last single.  The primary A-side is a tad on the weak side, but it definitely has A-side quality all over it so it’s not the worst they did.  The shining star (or the surprising mess) of the secondary A-side definitely is the one to check out more as it’s something the group hasn’t done but they always tend to do odd things lol.  Also, this is coming before their 2nd best album (yet neither of these songs are on it)…so I suppose it starts a new era?

 

Berryz Koubou – Motto Zutto Issho ni Itakatta/ROCK Erotic October 5, 2013

Filed under: Berryz Koubou — solarblade @ 9:04 pm

mottozutto

Track Listing

  1. Motto Zutto Issho ni Itakatta
  2. ROCK Erotic
  3. I’m so cool! (Limited A, B, C, and Regular only)
  4. Koisuru Technique (Limited D only)
  5. Motto Zutto Issho ni Itakatta (Instrumental)
  6. ROCK Erotic (Instrumental)

1. Motto Zutto Issho ni Itakatta

Opening the single, Motto Zutto Issho ni Itakatta is one of the group’s slower tracks and to be honest, I kind of was not interested in it because while it has some of the electro we’ve been seeing from Tsunku, the song seems a bit boring!  I like the ooo-ing in the background during the musical interludes.  I like that all the members are singing, but I still kind of feel that the song is just lacking for me.  That breakdown during the middle 8 was a bit messed up to be honest as well.  I guess vocally it’s nice…but otherwise…meh.

2. ROCK Erotic

The other A-side is of more to my liking because it mixes the aggressive electro we’ve seen with guitars and I quite like it.  I actually preferred this song way over “Motto Zutto Issho ni Itakatta” just because it’s faster and the vocals are quite striking.  The direction of the song is a bit weird at first because with Risako and Miyabi’s lines (I thought that was the verse) but it might…because the parts with Yurina…it seems like another set too.  Still, I really like the dramatics of the track and it’s just rather cool!

3. I’m so cool!

At least unlike their previous single, we got two B-side over NONE!  The first one is the one found on most of the editions of the single.  It’s actually quite a cute song to listen to.  Something about the playful synths is just a bit strange after the previoue two tracks xD.  However, the group seems rather bored with the song and the chorus is just a tad bit mundane.  I think they should just avoid cute songs from now on, it’s not their forte anymore.

4. Koisuru Technique

I was really interested when the other B-side opened up with all those buzzing synths!  I actually enjoyed this track as well because I love that they threw in some strings alongside the techno-bits.  It might not interest many because it stays at the same pace majority of the track, but the song did show quite a bit of some good melodies!  Definitely the preferred B-side.

 

 

I think I can agree that Berryz is just losing their spark the longer they continue.  Motto Zutto Issho ni Itakatta might grow on me, but it’s just really mediocre on me right now (even though there are some good parts).  Also I’m so cool! is just icky to listen to, way too boring and cute.  At least the single is save by ROCK Erotic & Koisuru Technique, the former being edgy and really catch while Koisuru Technique has a good arrangement and some good vocals.  Overall…I do like there’s more songs than their last single, “Golden Chinatown/Sayonara Usotsuki na Watashi” though in the end I liked 2 tracks as well xD.

 

Berryz Koubou – Golden Chinatown/Sayonara Usotsuki no Watashi June 21, 2013

Filed under: Berryz Koubou — solarblade @ 8:05 pm

goldenchinatown

Track Listing

  1. Golden Chinatown
  2. Sayonara Usotsuki no Watashi
  3. Golden Chinatown (Instrumental)
  4. Sayonara Usotsuki no Watashi (Instrumental)

1. Golden Chinatown

Seems like Berryz are once again going outside of Japan to get ideas for songs (well it’s more like Tsunku is, but you know).  Golden Chinatown at first listen sounded a lot like a mix of “WANT!” and “Asian Celebration” which did make me complain of the unoriginality thrown here, but add in the Chinese elements and actually this song is a disco-banger for me!  I love that there’s a bit more of the back members (more focused on Yurina and Momoko) and Rii and Miya get to kind of sit back for this.  I think my favorite are the melodies that are in the back like the guitar/bass bounces in the verses <3!  This is definitely a much needed song after the messy song of their last single.

2. Sayonara Usotsuki no Watashi

The other A-side of the single to me is kind of what’s been popular in H!P recently and that’s the electro song.  Not that it’s bad because there’s no auto-tune like in some other tracks!  The line distribution though goes back to Risako and Miyabi in the front and everyone taking more of a support role.  The song for me isn’t much in my tastes though because it has a similar feel to C-ute’s “Aitai Aitai Aitai na” where it’s so explosive but once you delve in, it’s just a bit disappointing.

So, I feel like this single did kind of make up for whatever misstep happened on “Asian Celebration” but I also feel a bit strange having two A-sides but not B-side.  Golden Chinatown is a pretty nifty song and fits the Chinese mood quite snuggly and loved hearing Chinami, Maasa, and Captain more!  The other A-side is kind of more electro stuff that Tsunku is kind running dry on.  It’s loud and heavy, but it doesn’t have much to hook onto (at least by me)…hmmm what’s next…

 

Berryz Koubou – Asian Celebration March 20, 2013

Filed under: Berryz Koubou — solarblade @ 9:42 am

asiancelebration

Track Listing

  1. Asian Celebration
  2. Sekai de Ichiban Taisetsu na Hito (Limited A, C, and Regular only)
  3. I like a picnic (Limited B and D only)
  4. Asian Celebration (Instrumental)

1. Asian Celebration

You know ever since “Heroine ni Narou ka!”, Berryz has never really unimpressed me in their A-sides but for some reason, the league of A-sides end because I really am not a big fan of Asian Celebration.  I mean the disco vibes are actually really nice, but it’s just a lot of everything else that ended up getting wrong.  I mean the amount of Miyabi’s English is surprising but that was ok.  What annoyed me the most were the purposely done DJ scratched vocal flip they were doing in the verses…that was supremely annoying (especially Yurina, who was shockingly BAD in this song).  After “WANT!”, this just comes as a big disappointment.

2. Sekai de Ichiban Taisetsu na Hito

The B-side found on most editions, Sekai de Ichiban Taisetsu na Hito seems to be the afterthought from “WANT!” with its more electro sound but strangely enough this kind of sounds like an anime theme, but I’m OK with that because the song is actually kind of nice to listen to, especially seeing here the back members get a lot more presence.  The chorus is a bit sugary for me, but I do like the arrangement.  Not bad and it’s slightly better than “Asian Celebration”.

3. I like a picnic

So on the other two editions, we get ANOTHER Bird Thongchai cover!  This time of I like a picnic because that isn’t a strange title for them >.>.  After “cha cha SING” and “Loving you Too much”, it seems this whole Thai bang is getting to the girls lol.  I like a picnic is kind of more upbeat like “cha cha SING” but there’s a lot more going on vocally and in the arrangement.  I kind of like the song as its another quirky cover TBH lol.

Berryz has finally dropped a meh A-side after all the good single they’ve done for a while.  Asian Celebration is weak and kind of vocally unpleasant to my ears.  Didn’t help the PV was a “Dakishimete Dakishimete” clone…it was bad.  At least Sekai de Ichiban Taisetsu na Hito and I like a picnic fared much better.  The main B-side is quite poppy but I like the arrangement.  The cover song was the best of the single though as it was just so fun!  At least they can go up from here now lol.