Kurayami Monogatari

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BEYOOOOONDS – BEYOOOOOND1St December 2, 2019

Filed under: BEYOOOOONDS — solarblade @ 5:10 am

beyooooond1st

Track Listing

  1. OOOOOVERTURE
  2. Atsui!
  3. Nippon no D・N・A!
  4. Takanawa Gateway Eki ga Dekiru Koto ni wa
  5. We Need a Name!
  6. Sokora no Yatsu to wa Onaji ni Saretakunai
  7. Kinoko Takenoko Daisenki
  8. Sayokyoku “Megane no Otoko no Ko”
  9. Megane no Otoko no Ko
  10. Koi no O-Swing
  11. Bunkasai Jikkou Iinchou no Koi
  12. Gannen Bungee Jump
  13. Renai Bugyo
  14. GIRL ZONE
  15. Toei Oedo-sen no Roppongi Eki de Dakishimete
  16. Go Waist
  17. Nobishiro ~Beyond the World~

1. OOOOOVERTURE

As the opening to the album, it really feels grandiose and boy does it kind of remind me of something like Star Wars (or closer to even stuff like Star Fox or Smash Bros.) or something in that nature.  It’s kind of goofy considering the group this is kicking things off with.  I found it interesting though and I’m pretty content but knowing that “Atsui!” is next is even funnier!

2. Atsui!

I mean I don’t know it the album truly needed an introduction piece if Atsui! was the first track since that opens up with a piano-only intro from Honoka here.  Anyways Atsui! was a song that’s been performed live for quite a while (though it sadly missed out being on their debut single).  It’s good though that it was chosen to promote the album and I’m really shocked at it.  After their first single, I wasn’t expecting the group to get a heavy rock track as such as this.  The energy is loud and the group is just on fire here, what a great song this one is (even if it does slightly remind me of BABYMETAL).  Although the only part that was eh was the spoken bridge section between Minami, Saya, and Rika…it was a bit out of place, but still an awesome song regardless!

3. Nippon no D・N・A!

Being as the first of the A-sides to show up on the album, Nippon no DNA! was pretty anthemic and really showed off the group as one unit instead of like splitting them between the 9 members and on the other hand (Hirai, Satoyoshi, and Kobayashi).  It’s pretty energetic too (not like “Atsui!” though).  I still love Hirai’s amped up intro and it just leads to this pumped up dance track.  I will say that once again I’m a little thrown off by the Minami & Kokoro shouting section, but it was cancelled by Honoka’s synth solo.  Yeah, this is still a pretty awesome song!

4. Takanawa Gateway Eki ga Dekiru Koro ni wa

The next 3 tracks are actually new tracks between the sub-units (CHICA#TETSU, Ame no Mori Kawa Umi, and the ONLY YOU girls).  First up is from CHICA#TETSU (Ichioka, Shimakura, Eguchi, and Nishida) who I’ve started to see the pattern that they’re the ~train~ girls as this song and their first track has involved train station of sorts.  Comparing to their other song “Toei Oedo-sen no Roppongi Eki de Dakishimete”, this song was a lot better to handle in my opinion.  The song is a little more funky and poppy here and the cuteness wasn’t so overbearing, well except the bridge when Reina speaks.  While I am still learning voices in the group, I did recognize Reina as the first with solo and she has a unique voice whereas the other 3 are slightly harder to pinpoint.  Still not bad!

5. We Need a Name!

The next track is just funny because it’s for Hirai, Satoyoshi, and Kobayashi who as of this review the trio don’t belong in any sub-unit like the other 9 are and this song talks about it.  It kind of starts out like a winter ballad with Miyo beginning the song as Utano joins in after.  Though when all 3 start to sing, it kind of gets all showstune and Honoka shows more of her piano skills which is so impressive for someone in H!P.  It’s a funny song for sure but it’s nice to see them getting a song to themselves for sure!  Honestly though, I hope they do get a name within the next year because this is just so topical…and I kind of was hoping it would’ve been revealed at the end XD

6. Sokora no Yatsu to wa Onaji ni Saretakunai

Last, but not least, we have Ame no Mori Kawa Umi’s (Takase, Kiyono, Maeda, Yamazaki, and Okamura) song.  After hearing “GIRL ZONE” and seeing and cool and up my alley it was (versus CHICA#TETSU’s song), I was more than excited to see what their 2nd song held.  I just wasn’t expecting the song to open so suddenly and with the chorus here.  While it doesn’t hit as quite as hard as their previous song, this one is pretty solid and I’m liking that each member is getting solos here and unlike in CHICA#TETSU, the 5 voices are pretty easy to tell apart.  It’s a little messy especially after the guitar solo, but I think it’s ok…not as good as “GIRL ZONE” though.

7. Kinoko Takenoko Daisenki

It begins like a ballad with someons (Minami? and Kurumi) singing but the song changes pretty much after that to something a bit more serious and aggressive which is pretty cool.  Think of S/mileage’s “Shin Nippon no Susume!” but not quite as dramatic here.  It goes through a lot of mood changes which is cool, but I do like the feeling of war behind.  It’s a unique song on the album that’s for sure and the samurai-esque bridge (with spoken dialogue) is so interesting too.  There’s so many areas and it closes out with Honorin with her piano playing.  Bizarre, but I loved it!

8. Sayokyoku “Megane no Otoko no Ko”

So the next track is kind of an extra piece of music to tie in to the next track, but it’s just Honoka playing the piano to the song’s melody.  Not quite sure why it was needed considering “Megane no Otoko no Ko” already has a lengthy opening as it is.  It was good to show more of Honoka’s skills but I didn’t understand why it was here.

9. Megane no Otoko no Ko

Though it does lead to the group’s first song, which was also the primary A-side from their debut.  Like I said above, it does begin with a story which is about girls crushing on Kokoro Maeda (who’s playing the guy in the song).  As the group’s debut, it’s not a surprise that Miyo, Utano, and Honoka had little to do here as they were added after this was first performed.  Once the track actually begins, the tune goes very upbeat and rowdy and I kind of love it all the same.  It’s a silly and yet fun song and really made for a good A-side that’s for sure and the story continues on the 2nd disc on the album (which is a drama apparently).

10. Koi no O-Swing

Moving to another new track, Koi no O-Swing definitely has a swing-style going on for its arrangement with the piano and brass backing it all up.  I’m enjoying the variety of vocals throughout and it’s just cute and lively.  Although I kind of wish the instrumentation had a bit more fire behind it because despite the fact it is Swing, it could’ve had a bit more oomph to it.

11. Bunkasai Jikkou Iinchou no Koi

I had totally forgotten that this song existed here despite that I did review it on their single.  Just like “Megane no Otoko no Ko” it does open up with dialogue and some story which is a little long-winded for my interest but oh wells.  I did say I do like the rockin’ vibes I get out of this one and the group sounds good too (once again, I don’t think the newer three members had much to do).  Listening to it now, it does make me think it’s a slower “Atsui!” with less impact.  Not bad, but still not quite in the upper echelon.

12. Gannen Bungee Jump

OH well, this is kind of new!  Moving to our next new track, Gannen Bungee Jump is a different kind of track that has a certain vibe to it (helps that Hyadain worked on this one) and so it sounds a bit different comparing it to majority of the album.  I’m loving the bongos and funky upbeat sound of it.  Plus, the 12 members all sounds bright and lively and the amount of solos are nice too!  Might be one of the hidden gems from the album!

13. Renai Bugyo

It’s kind of been a while since we’ve got to hear the group tackle something poppy and dance-centric and Renai Bugyo kind of fits this role and it does kind of remind me of “Dancing! Natsu Matsuri” lyrically from some of the lyrics to the Japanese matsuri-like sounds that come from the arrangement.  I just appreciate the style here and its simplicity as well.  Maybe some of the voices are a little off in places, but I still dug it!

14. GIRL ZONE

As we get closer to the end of the album, we get 3 of the songs that were from the single that came before the album.  Of course two of those were from the sub-groups!  Ame no Mori Kawa Umi’s GIRL ZONE still kind of surprises at how edgy and cool-esque it was for the 5 of them.  I’m loving the darker atmosphere and cool vibes from this one on top of the risky vocal flips in the verses, but it keeps up as the song goes further in.  The chorus is still kind of sounds out of place (especially since it comes off more happier than the verses themselves, but it’s still good regardless!).

15. Toei Oedo-sen no Roppongi Eki de Dakishimete

Like I said, CHICA#TETSU’s song have all involved something with a train!  With the first track, Toei Oedo-sen wasn’t really a song that got me because it was far from what the group was initially described as.  I guess they’ll be considered the cutesy sub-group I guess?  I do think it still gives me some nostalgic Matsuura vibes for whatever reason, but the song is kind of growing on me but not terribly because it’s just a bit plain to me.

16. Go Waist

I’m so surprised this A-side was placed so far towards the end of the album!  There’s just something so shocking about the group playing with a song’s lyrics versus the original (that was back in the 70s).  Though something about bringing it up and inserting some auto-tune and dance beats made it rather more intriguing.  Though I will definitely remember this one as Saya Eguchi’s song because she has the bridge of the song which is still fantastic and ridiculously funny.

17. Nobishiro ~Beyond the World~

Then we get to the album’s final track, which I’m not surprised is a lighter affair as more of a soulful ballad for the group and I appreciate that Reina and Miyo kicked things off here.  I mean it’s kind of that everyone’s track and feels more like a song set for encores during live performances.  It’s a fairly nice ending to the album, but I don’t think it’s much a song for me.

Tracks Recommended

  • Renai Bugyo
  • Go Waist
  • Gannen Bungee Jump
  • Atsui!
  • Megane no Otoko no Ko

Song of Avoidance

  • Nobishiro ~Beyond the World~

I didn’t think BEYOOOOONDS only after one single would release their first studio album in 2019, lord.  That said, it’s probably the lightest album released under H!P (I swear, since others were 2-4 discs).  This was a pretty nice album overall, most of the new tracks really stood out and painted a better picture for the group as a unit (and through their sub-units as well).  I can’t wait to see whats next for the group, though I hope they lessen the amount of spoken dialogues in their songs…just a bit too many for me!

 

BEYOOOOONDS – Megane no Otoko no Ko/Nippon no D・N・A!/Go Waist July 17, 2019

Filed under: BEYOOOOONDS — solarblade @ 4:26 am

meganenotokonoko

Track Listing

  1. Megane no Otoko no Ko
  2. Nippon no DNA!
  3. Go Waist
  4. GIRL ZONE (Regular A only)
  5. Bunkasai Jikkou Iinchou no Koi (Regular B only)
  6. Toei Oedo-sen no Roppongi Eki de Dakishimete (Regular C only)
  7. Megane no Otoko no Ko (Instrumental)
  8. Nippon no DNA! (Instrumental)
  9. Go Waist (Instrumental)
  10. GIRL ZONE (Instrumental)
  11. Bunkasai Jikkou Iinchou no Koi (Instrumental)
  12. Toei Oedo-sen no Roppongi Eki de Dakishimete (Instrumental)

1. Megane no Otoko no Ko

OMG, Finally we have the debut for BEYOOOOONDS to review!  Megane no Otoko no Ko was the first song they’ve performed originally as a group (although originally without Miyo, Honoka, and Utano).  The tune does open with a pretty long dialogue set between most of the members of the group, with Momohime kicking things off!  After the intro, the tune kicks off with an upbeat EDM sound and a kind of cuteness side to it.  Just about all of the girls get some decent lines in it, especially Yuhane, Shiori, Kurumi, and Momohime for sure.  I really liked its chorus too, it’s surprisingly bubbly but hits hard too.  Honestly a great debut song!

2. Nippon no DNA!

I wasn’t expecting new songs to enter the fray after the group themselves had two other songs as BEYOOOOONDS (“Bunkasai Jikkou Iinchou no Koi” and “Atsui!”) but it seems we get two more new songs to listen to.  This one opens with Miyo shouting an intro and I’m just like damn!  Unlike the wild “Megane no Otoko no Ko”, Nippon no DNA! is more kind of like 90’s Eurodance and I’m kind of digging it (mixed in with a little of a feeling similar to DA PUMP’s big hit last year, “U.S.A.”.  The verses are pretty cool and the sections where Minami and Kokoro scream is cool, but I think the weak link is the chorus oddly enough.  It’s catchy, but it doesn’t really pop out for me.  Also is that a Honoka solo with the synths in the bridge?  Regardless, a lot of it is good, it’s just the chorus that comes off a smidge repetitive for me.

3. Go Waist

So their 3rd A-side is actually a parody cover of a 1979 song from The Village People, “Go West”.  Interesting choice of song to get from but this one is an oddball with use of autotuned for portions of the verses.  Add on the fact it’s a synthy dance track as well makes it seem a bit less interesting but there’s raps too!  I don’t hear a lot of solos except the middle with Shiori, Reina, Saya, and Yuhane (mostly Saya as she has a BIG portion of the bridge).  What a bizarre section though and it just somehow works its way back to the main melody and finishes off with a Honorin piano solo at the end..  Funny song overall!

4. GIRL ZONE

GIRL ZONE is actually the first song done by Ame no Mori Kawa Umi (to which I’m still confused if it’s really its own thing or a sub-unit) but it does feature Kurumi, Momohime, Kokoro, Yuhane, and Minami and for a group that focused a little more on theatrics, this song is pretty rockin’ otherwise!  It’s got loud guitars and the group is just pretty much doing some vocal flips too.  It was a surprise to hear, but for some reason the chorus kind of disappoints me, it just doesn’t have that fire that the verses had oddly enough.  I still think it’s ok though.

5. Bunkasai Jikkou Iinchou no Koi

One of the B-sides is a 4th BEYOOOOONDS track and like “Megane no Otoko no Ko” it opens with a pretty lengthy intro from Kurumi & Saya before the song actually kicks off!  The tune is more a bit more funkier and has a bit more sass behind it which is pretty cool and I’m hearing a lot more solos here which is pretty awesome too!  The song itself though does give me some old Buono! vibes and definitely sticks out on the single too!  I will say that it’s fairly giving me B-side vibes and not so much a leading song…but it’s still a decent tune.

6. Toei Oedo-sen no Roppongi Eki de Dakishimete

Last but not least, we have the other song for the other unit (or sub-unit), CHICA#TETSU (Reina, Saya, Shiori, and Rika).  I wasn’t expecting this group to get a sparkly genki song that kind of reminds me of old Aya Matsuura songs here.  That said, I wasn’t sure how to feel because it really didn’t click much with me and the cuteness I don’t know made the song feel completely random on the single.  I mean it is nice to hear these four since they all kind of do the cute well and the echo filter added wasn’t a bad touch either!  That said, the song doesn’t quite stand out like the others from the single for me.

 

 

For a debut single, this was pretty jam-packed and well deserved considering how long it took for the group to actually get itself going (two years?).  As their debut single, I feel like BEYOOOOONDS has a pretty good start especially with 4 strong songs to back them up!  I will say I’m curious to where CHICA#TETSU and Ame no Mori Kawa Umi end up in the next year, but it’s a decent start too, although I hope CHICA#TETSU doesn’t really push for the cutesy stuff since Toei Oedo-sen wasn’t all that great to me.  I also hope to see more of Miyo, Honoka, and Utano in the future since this single didn’t really shine too much on them versus the other nine BEYOOOOONDS members.  Also maybe it’s just a pet peeve I got from this single, but I could live without the dialoguing all over the single.  Overall, it was still a great way to kick things off!

 

BEYOOOOONDS – Engeki Joshi-bu “Fushigi no Kuni no Alice-tachi” OST May 7, 2019

Filed under: BEYOOOOONDS — solarblade @ 6:04 am

fushiginokuninoalive

Track Listing

  1. Fushigi no Kuni no Alice-tachi
  2. Minna Rival
  3. Watashi no Philosophy
  4. Tsuzuiteiru

1. Fushigi no Kuni no Alice-tachi

As the main theme of the play, I was coming into this wondering what it would sound like (especially dealing with 12 new members).  I kind of was hoping the tune would be somewhat darker, but the dance beat and kind of mysterious glow of the track works as well.  While I can’t tell who is who singing currently, the group of ladies sound decent and it sounds not like the low quality feel of something like “Karen na Gasshoudan” did when the KSS had that play.  I think Ichioka and Takase has a solo but that’s all I really know.  Overall, the song is probably one of the better Engeki theme songs out there!

2. Minna Rival

The other song to feature all 12 members, Minna Rival is a bit more playful and features more solo lines and some spoken dialogue throughout.  Once again, I do recognize Reina’s vocals over everyone elses (because hers is quite unique).  I kind of like the bounciness of the track and the back and forth between members is kind of humorous to say the least!  Not bad!~

3. Watashi no Philosophy

So the other two tracks are split between CHICA#TETSU and Ame no Mori Kawa Umi (the two units branched from BEYOOOOONDS).  The first is of course from CHICA#TETSU (Reina Ichioka, Rika Shimakura, Shiori Nishida, and Saya Eguchi).  Continuing this girly kind of fantasy-like setting, Watashi no Philosophy does kind of has this Disney-like quality to it.  Luckily, the quartet sounds nice together, even if Ichioka’s voice is so noticeable lol to me at least.  I think it’s OK (though I don’t get the cybernetic motif in the 2nd verse).

4. Tsuzuiteiru

Though I guess I wasn’t expecting beatboxing to open the last track sung by Ame no Mori Kawa Umi (Kurumi Takase, Momohime Kiyono, Kokoro Maeda, Minami Okamura, and Yuhane Yamazaki).  While I’m not used to any of the 5 vocalists yet, they also sound well together and I personally think this song worked for them too.  It actually sounds like an album track to me versus a OST song in comparison to “Watashi no Philosophy”.

 

 

Why am I not surprised that BEYOOOOONDS’ first release in H!P would be an OST single to promote their stageplay?  I mean I guess it’s a fair preview to their actual debut single set for August.  I am quite impressed at how all 12 sound (well we really didn’t get to hear Miho Hirai, Utano Satoyoshi, and Honoka Kobayashi) but the other 9 seem to really get it and sound strong.  Like I said, this is a decent sample of what’s to come and I’m excited for their actual debut!