Kurayami Monogatari

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BoA – Lookbook December 20, 2015

Filed under: BoA — solarblade @ 6:38 am

lookbook

Track Listing

  1. Lookbook
  2. Kiss My Lips
  3. Meri Kuri (Happy 15th Anniversary Ver.)
  4. Lookbook (inst)
  5. Kiss My Lips (inst)

1. Lookbook

I was waiting for BoA to come back with something hot after the rather impressive “WHO’S BACK” album and unfortuantely “FLY” wasn’t that song, but when it comes to Lookbook, this song is pretty fierce and the energy that BoA had when releasing her Korean stuff has finally come back with this one.  It’s a pretty upbeat and dance-heavy track and while the title is a little odd, I found this to be a strong song from her and one of the better sons in her discography!

2. Kiss My Lips

I wasn’t surprised though that the first B-side up is a Japanese self-cover of Kiss My Lips (which was the main promotional song from her last Korean album).  Unlike the edgy and fast-paced “Lookbook”, this one has a more sultry vibe going for it and we get to hear BoA’s soothing vocals in her element!  I will say that synth intro threw me off a lot more than it should, but the song beyond that is cool and sexy!  Definitely a cool track as well!

3. Meri Kuri (Happy 15th Anniversary Ver.)

Another version of Meri Kuri?  It seems we always come back to this song for some reason doesn’t it?  Being the song a lot of people think of when it comes to BoA, Meri Kuri is a classic for her and I can’t deny it, but for some reason the song changed once again to fit the Christmas season a lot more than the original with piano and strings and jingle bells and other Christmas chords and fun stuff.  I don’t think it stands up to the original which is a given, but if you’re looking for a good song to celebrate the holidays, this is a good song for you.

 

 

While it hasn’t been a very long time since her last release, Lookbook is actually a solid single!  I mean the leading track is badass and just a return to form for BoA.  Adding Kiss My Lips was a good choice and added more oomph to the single as well.  Though the inclusion of another version of Meri Kuri was maybe a little too soon (suits the season, but we already have a couple versions of it…).  Overall it’s a great single!

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BoA – FLY February 19, 2015

Filed under: BoA — solarblade @ 8:09 pm

fly

Track Listing

  1. FLY
  2. Airport de Machiawase
  3. FLY (INST)
  4. Airport de Machiawase (INST)

1. FLY

I was surprised that BoA had announced this single even before “WHO’S BACK” was released and was wondering why she just didn’t stick this and its B-side on the album (because it really needed new songs).  That said, listening to the leading track, FLY is actually a ballad from her and might not have fully fit with that album.  BoA sounds great in her ballads of recent and this is no exception!  Not bad overall and brings her back down after all those dance songs lol.

2. Airport de Machiawase

The B-side though has more of a funky vibe that kind of reminds me of stuff in the middle of her career like “MADE IN GALAXY (20)” and “THE FACE”.  Though at the same time is it weird I could hear Hikki perform this song for some reason?  Either way, I love the flow of this one as well and BoA sounds sweet and cutesy here and it’s a neat track for sure.

 

 

BoA for some reason quickly released FLY after her album and for the most part it’s OK, nothing poor, but nothing that really echoes how good a lot of those songs from “WHO’S BACK” were.  FLY is a nice ballad and Airport de Machiawase is a nice funky song, but it is what it is….nice.  I can only hope her next release will be awesome!

 

BoA – WHO’S BACK? September 2, 2014

Filed under: BoA — solarblade @ 5:11 am

whosback

Track Listing

  1. First Time
  2. Shout It Out
  3. Only One
  4. FUN
  5. Message
  6. WOO WEEKEND
  7. Milestone
  8. I SEE ME
  9. MASAYUME CHASING
  10. The Shadow
  11. close to me
  12. Call my name
  13. Baby you..
  14. Tail of Hope

1. First Time

Opening the album is the ONLY new song of the album, First Time.  I felt like BoA opened up things with a pretty solid track with a nice beat and cool vocals that came along with it.  It does have a similar feel to other songs on the album, but it works because a lot of the songs are pretty strong so it’s definitely fitting.  I do wish there were more new tracks, but First Time made a lot of sense and did its job, not bad!

2. Shout It Out

As the rest of the album is old songs, Shout It Out is the first to come up and it was her 6th A-side.  Given that it’s the funky song, Shout It Out was a breath of fresh air amongst her upbeat songs and BoA sounded lively and fitting to the atmosphere.  There’s just something about the beats and piano chords and the attitude that caught me off guard and just worked all over.  Great party song for sure!

3. Only One

Many had thought that the era started with Only One because she had gone on a lengthy break and released another Korean album and returned to Japan by self-covering it in Japanese.  Turned out it was the 3rd A-side released for the album.  To me, the song was pretty low-key and chill which is one of BoA’s strengths and I was happy to see something like this (add an extra dance beat and it could’ve been another “Eien”).  It’s a nice track, though it does get passed up by many other of the songs on the album.

4. FUN

Funny enough, it is the only B-side that isn’t bunched up with the others on the album.  As the coupling from “MASAYUME CHASING”, I was so happy to see the track included since it’s upbeat and really shows off an exciting party vibe, almost like “Shout It Out” but with more synths involved.  BoA also sounds vocally upbeat and I just find myself humming the tune everytime it comes on.  I also get this feeling of a beach party too, but it could just be me…I definitely loved this song for sure!  Although that outro…was weird IMO

5. Message

Seems like after the “FUN” wore off, Message comes in with a lighter vibe and gives us this cool and chilled out atmosphere.  I do like the acoustic guitars mixed with BoA’s R&B style and when I first heard this single, I fell back in love with BoA’s music for sure.  There’s just something so relaxing but cool about this song that I just dug everything…she sounds great and this song was a pretty great entry to her discography.

6. WOO WEEKEND

Like I said above, many had thought “Only You” started the era off while everything before it was jut kind of best album fodder.  The next three tracks weren’t in that list so seeing them make the cut rather surprised me.  Going back to mid 2010, WOO WEEKEND really doesn’t seem to fit the album because while the funky vibes are cool and the 80s pop is neat, there’s just something that doesn’t fit here.  It lacks a lot of deep beats (honestly could’ve used some).  I do like it’s another upbeat inclusion, but I don’t seem to connect much as I did back then.

7. Milestone

Released as BoA’s first DVD single, Milestone kind of was in the middle of all these different releases she was putting out (well avex more like it) and in the hubbub, we had this ballad.  After these upbeat/R&B songs, a full ballad seemed so random on this album.  A simple piano/strings ballad, Milestone did good for BoA’s vocals for the most part, but I still feel like the song is way too short and it ends way too abruptly (I kind of wished they had address that problem on the album, but they didn’t).  Didn’t care for this track with its problems.

8. I SEE ME

Released as a digital single before being included as a B-side on “Milestone”, I SEE ME still sounds leaps and wonders better than its A-side.  Another ballad, I SEE ME picked a nicer style to take over and BoA sounds a lot more smoother and good.  It’s got a nice classy sound and BoA just gave a nice performance and the chorus is so nice and memorable in my opinion.  Definitely sounded the closest to the remainder of the tracks to be honest.

9. MASAYUME CHASING

Moving from the OLD songs to the 7th A-side and final before the album’s release, MASAYUME CHASING was a huge song for BoA being tied to a pretty well-known anime, Fairy Tail.  I wasn’t sure what I was getting into, but this song started off a lot like “Tail of Hope” but quickly gained speed and a cool melody and dance beat that I really dug through the entire song.  It really doesn’t come off as an anison track which is definitely a plus too!  Even the rapping section is quirky and charming…I don’t know why but it was a lovely song and it still is today!

10. The Shadow

Moving into a string of B-sides, the first was from “Only You” and is also a Japanese self-cover.  I do remember it being one of the better songs from the Korean album, so I was excited to hear this in Japanese and it didn’t disappoint.  I also stand by my original stance that this song sounds rather mechanical lyrically and it does somewhat bother me, but it has a nice attitude and BoA of course sounds great, especially in the chorus.  It’s OK, but I do wish it didn’t sound like clockwork.  Still it’s worth a listen!

11. close to me

Then the B-side from “Shout It Out” appears and I was surprised she was singing a lot of this song in English alongside her Japanese which is a nice treat.  I remember this song was such a 180 from its leading song by having a somewhat BONNIE PINK-like atmosphere to it.  It’s definitely one of the more sentimental ballads of the album and I personally loved it since she sounds so good in a deeper tone and the lyrics stood out to me (could be the English though).  Very nice!

12. Call my name

Even though it isn’t a B-side (sister A-side to “Message”), Call my name is still my favorite song from this album hands down!  There’s something so mysterious and cold about this song that just caught my attention and kept itself on my mind ever since the single release.  BoA’s performance is just as compelling as the song’s arrangement and I loved every second of it.  Even when the chorus throws a double vocal melody that added this wonderful mix of notes and harmonies.  I don’t know who arranged this but this was FANTASTIC…one of her best songs in her career yet IMHO!

13. Baby you..

It’s the B-side from “Tail of Hope”!  Actually it’s really another Japanese self-cover, but it’s of a digital single from Korea, “Geuleon Neo (Disturbance)”.  Why the name chance beats me, but hey it’s here.  There’s something about this song that kind of just reminds me of “Only You” with the chilled atmosphere, but also hides a certain R&B flair.  I never was one for Disturbance, and the self-cover doesn’t really do much to sway me in a direction.  Though it’s not a bad song at least.

14. Tail of Hope

Ending the album is the A-side, Tail of Hope and I found it interesting it wasn’t “MASAYUME CHASING” since it was the big one.  Though given it’s upbeat sound, Tail of Hope made sense to close things out on a strong note.  Like the aforementioned song, it’s got that same breezy atmosphere with slapped beats and sparkly synths added to the arrangement.  Made for a pretty nice closure to the album!

Tracks Recommended

  • Call my name
  • MASAYUME CHASING
  • close to me
  • FUN
  • Message

Song of Avoidance

  • Milestone

There’s really two ways to look with this album, if you’re a casual fan trying to get into BoA (though by now I think she’s well-known in the community) WHO’S BACK? is probably her best album in a LOOOOONG time, a lot of these songs are well-produced and well-sung.  All of these songs were a LOT better than anything she pulled off in “IDENTITY” so that’s a great thing for me since I was sorely disappointed in that one.  HOWEVER, only one new track?!?  That’s terribly weak for BoA, especially since her last album dropped back in early 2010.  Overall, awesome album, but definitely wasn’t worth the wait nor the amount of anything new here (First Time wasn’t worth the wait).

 

BoA – MASAYUME CHASING July 23, 2014

Filed under: BoA — solarblade @ 2:19 am

masayumechasing

Track Listing

  1. MASAYUME CHASING
  2. FUN
  3. MASAYUME CHASING (INST)
  4. FUN (INST)

1. MASAYUME CHASING

It surprises me that BoA would bring something out like MASAYUME CHASING because it’s a really cool song for her.  Being the theme for Fairy Tail, it’s got a pretty big presence all over the world which is something BoA hasn’t had in quite a while!  I’m loving the energy of the song and BoA sounds pretty beautiful from the soft verses to the beat-driven chorus.  There’s even a sort-of rapping section too!  It’s definitely another fun and powerful tune this era.

2. FUN

So the B-side, FUN acts as the eponymous summer song for BoA and it really has that atmosphere down pat.  There’s just a lively feel and BoA has a happy and fun style going on which is nice!  It does remind of some of her earlier stuff ala “THE FACE” which is pretty risky, but the sound overall is nice and leads off a pleasant track.

 

 

Closing out the “WHO’S BACK” era, MASAYUME CHASING was a very nice way to finish it up.  The leading trak is fun, breezy, and anison done right.  I feel like BoA and animes work well together, but she doesn’t do it too often which makes sense too.  FUN was also a cool, fun, summery track.  I am a little disppointed that a LOT of the previous songs between “IDENTITY” and now are being included on this upcoming album, but I hope there’ll be some surprises.

 

BoA – Shout It Out March 5, 2014

Filed under: BoA — solarblade @ 7:00 am

shoutitout

Track Listing

  1. Shout It Out
  2. close to me
  3. Shout It Out (INST)
  4. close to me (INST)

1. Shout It Out

I know BoA has been on this streak of mid-tempos with her last couple of singles so it was great to see that Shout It Out was something more upbeat and exciting.  I had a lot of fun listening to this song as it’s just bright and funky and kind of is a better take of “WOO WEEKEND” with less bass slaps lol.  Definitely a great track for BoA but she’s been on a roll so I’m happy this stretches that further!

2. close to me

The B-side for the single is a bit more toned down having a nice guitar-ladened ballad.  BoA’s voice is very smooth and I like she’s throwing English in the song and she sounds pretty good and she flows nicely between that and Japanese.  I do get that Americanized feel about it and I would love a fully English version one day as it sounds a bit more personal but still good stuff!

 

 

I’m wondering when BoA will put out an album because we can only get soooo many good singles XD.  Being the 4th (or 6th?) single, I enjoyed Shout It Out quite a bit as a while, but I still think “Message/Call my name” is still the better single though.  I’ve missed BoA being upbeat and showing her dance skills and this was for sure a good track for that while close to me was a bit more sentimental and sweet.  Yeah…an album of all the songs she’s released since “IDENTITY” would just be quite perfect!

 

BoA – Message/Call my name November 13, 2013

Filed under: BoA — solarblade @ 9:09 am

message

Track Listing

  1. Message
  2. Call my name
  3. Message (Inst)
  4. Call my name (Inst)

1. Message

Ahhh, BoA’s Autumn single is people call it.  I was kind of wondering what to expect since “Tail of Hope” was nice!  Message actually is a nice cool song that’s chilled out and kind of REALLY pulls me back to some earlier JPN BoA and I really felt some nostalgia here and I loved it.  I really love BoA’s voice as well…it just seemed so smooth and the chorus is just catchy as hell XD.  Yeah this was an impressive song for sure!

2. Call my name

The other A-side of the single actually has a bit more of a dance-feel but also seems to fuse with a haunting piano melody that really gives this new and unique feel and honestly I love it!  I’m also loving the dual melodies in the chorus…busy but it felt almost like it adds to this air about the song.  Yeah, it’s so different and I’m loving it more than “Message”.

 

 

Wow, I didn’t think she could’ve topped her last single but goddamn this single is the best thing BoA has put in a LOOOOONG time.  Message is like old BoA but brought up to speed with current R&B and I love it tons!  Call my name on the other hand is a freaky cool setting for her and I just love the eerie, yet cool feel about it.  Yeah this is a *RECOMMENDED* single for me…great single!

 

BoA – Tail of Hope July 29, 2013

Filed under: BoA — solarblade @ 8:46 pm

tailofhope

Track Listing

  1. Tail of Hope
  2. Baby you…
  3. Tail of Hope (inst)
  4. Baby you… (inst)
  5. Tail of Hope ~English Version~ (special edition only)

1. Tail of Hope

It’s been quite a while since we’ve heard BoA in Japan so it is pretty great to see her return to the scene!  Tail of Hope wasn’t what I was expecting for a return from her, but the song sounds refreshing and kind of has this feel of “THE FACE”-era touch and I’m loving the song’s breezy and poppy sound.  Add that she sounds lovely in the track!  Definitely a much better track than “Milestone” was!

2. Baby you..

When this was announced, it was originally planned that the title was just going to simply be Disturbance (Korean Version), but for some strange reason the name got changed.  Baby you… kind of harkens back to early BoA (like “VALENTI” days).  This smooth R&B ditty was also quite a nice track to just sit and chill out with.  Definitely a well-made B-side and a good choice to make a Japanese version of.

3. Tail of Hope ~English Version~

On special editions of the single, it comes with an English take on the A-side and luckily since “BoA”, she has gotten better with her English so I was pretty excited to hear it.  Same arrangement of course, but she does sometimes get muddled in the music so a couple of times, it felt mumbly here and there.  Still, it’s not a very bad take and still a good song to listen to.

I’m quite happy to see BoA return to Japan to release this single and I was missing her a lot (especially with the last couple of releases being pretty mediocre).  Tail of Hope is quite a breezy, poppy, and great track for her to return with while Baby you… makes a great follow-up as the B-side.  The English version is OK, but I love the main version.  Great single!