Kurayami Monogatari

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BONNIE PINK – Chasing Hope August 11, 2012

Filed under: BONNIE PINK — solarblade @ 9:17 pm

Track Listing

  1. Stand Up!
  2. Natsu Gare
  3. Mountain High
  4. Bad Bad Boy
  5. Machi no Namae
  6. Animal Rendezvous
  7. My Angel
  8. Tiger Lily
  9. Baby Baby Baby
  10. Don’t Cry For Me Anymore
  11. Tsumetai Ame
  12. Change

1. Stand Up!

Ahhh, the opening song for BONNIE’s album is definitely going to make you smile for sure.  I like the bright atmosphere and Kaori’s vocals are just right for the song, that’s for sure.  It kind of does go back to “ONE” and some of the poppier tunes from said album…It’s a good opening track.

2. Natsu Gare

Though I think the album gets interesting when we get into the second track which carries more of a loungy setting.  I really like the keyboard-led arrangement and it’s light air about it, just took me somewhere else and it was a good place hah.  Definitely an early favorite for me.

3. Mountain High

Maybe it’s just me, but I was kind of bored with our next song, Mountain High.  I do like that it’s in English, but I just kind of found this song to be lacking when compared to the previous song.  I guess the guitar parts are something to make it pop, but there’s just not enough of it.  Meh…

4. Bad Bad Boy

At least we have Bad Bad Boy to bounce back on because this has the most spunk so far on this album.  I love the gritty guitar riff amonsgt Kaori’s vocals ^_^.  It’s just her way to get down and just have fun with the song and that’s what caught me in its grasp.  Song is just infectious!

5. Machi no Namae

As the second A-side representing the album, I kind of felt like this was a really nice slow track but amongst the album, it is rather unremarkable to ne because it kind of sounds like “Stand Up!” and “Mountain High” fused together with some extra knick-knacks here and there.  I think it’s an all right song, but I think it did better as a single more than anything else.

6. Animal Rendezvous

For some strange reason, this song first made me think of “Princess Incognito” with its similar nature.  Beyond that, the song is catch as hell as well which is a pretty good thing!  It just makes me wanna get up and dance to it because it just that infectious and the arrangement is really cool too.  Another one of my favorites from the album!

7. My Angel

After all of that fun-fest, we get into My Angel which is a piano ballad.  I really like Kaori’s voice in this song surprisingly and she just sings with a lot vindiction.  Makes up for the fact that the arrangement is really just a piano.  It kind of sticks out like a sore thumb on the album just a little bit, but it’s a solid ballad overall.

8. Tiger Lily

At least Tiger Lily kind of lightens things back up, right?  The song is kind of surprising, especially at the simplicity and sort of reggae-ish style it has.  There’s also the sounds of nature as well and that worked well here.  It’s a pretty unique song for Kaori and I think she handled it quite well!

9. Baby Baby Baby

At least we get a pretty awesome pop/rock tune with Baby Baby Baby.  To be honest, I kind of find myself tuning this out but I don’t know why because I usually like songs like this on the album.  I just find many other songs on the album are a bit more intriguing and has a bit more of a stronger identity.

10. Don’t Cry For Me Anymore

Another piano ballad?  Don’t Cry For Me Anymore sounds like “Machi no Namae” for some reason with its laidback arrangement, plus a couple songs from “Dear Diary” as well.  It’s all right for the most part, but maybe it’s a little too slow for me.

12. Tsumetai Ame

I have to say, Tsumetai Ame also is kind of weird on the album because it doesn’t sound like anything else on the album and it’s rockin’ atmosphere is different (especially at this point in the album).  I don’t know how to explain it better, but it really kind of just sounds different, more raw I guess?  I still think there’s something missing, but I do like it eitehr way.

12. Change

The final song to Chasing Hope, Change closes things up on a quieter note and while that’s good and all, I don’t find much in this song.  It’s like the other slower tracks on the album (mostly “Mountain High”).  As the ending song it’s good but on its own, I kind of seem to forget about it.

Track Listing

  • Animal Rendezvous
  • Tiger Lily
  • Natsu Gare
  • Bad Bad Boy
  • My Angel

Song of Avoidance

  • Change

I must say, Chasing Hope is at least better than “Dear Diary” since there were songs that were pretty awesome on this album but there were all some boring songs as well but it the former outweighs the latter.  Now I don’t think it’s going to surpass “Golden Tears” or “ONE” since both those albums were pretty awesome, this was just good. 

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BONNIE PINK – Machi no Namae July 9, 2012

Filed under: BONNIE PINK — solarblade @ 1:57 am

Track Listing

  1. Machi no Namae
  2. My Ever Changing Moods
  3. Nagareboshi
  4. Machi no Namae (Instrumental)

1. Machi no Namae

After the dramatic “Tsumetai Ame”. Machi no Namae is a more light and relaxed fare which is a nice change since it’s been a while since we’ve gotten a lead song that’s slower but not a ballad.  Kaori’s vocals sound really pleasant with the music even though it’s not the most intriguing arrangement she’s done.  I think this suits her though and makes for a nice A-side.

2. My Ever Changing Moods

This chilled out style follows her into her first B-side which is a cover of a Paul Weller track.  Thing is is that it’s a song sung in all English which sounds intriguing but the fact of the matter is is that half of the time, I didn’t even understand some of the things she was saying…off and on almost.  Also I found myself disliking the echo effect on Kaori because it made it even harder to understand the lyrics.  At least her vocals sound strong…just wish it was handled better.

3. Nagareboshi

The last track on the single, Nagareboshi, isn’t as laidback as “My Ever Changing Moods” but is about at the same pace as “Machi no Namae” but this song has a little more going on like strings and some guitars.  It’s got a unique arrangement at the least, but at the same time…it’s kind of boring.  THEEEEEN I find out that this is the same song from “Dear Diary” and I can’t seem to figure out why it’s found its way on this single…

 

 

Closing the “Chasing Hope”, Machi no Namae is kind of a disappointing single when compared to “Tsumetai Ame”.  I’m not sure but this single was a little too laidback for me to enjoy and she usually has something a bit more upbeat on her singles.  I think I could grow to somewhat to enjoy Machi no Namae.  However when it comes to Nagareboshi, it was too meh for me and the fact it’s a recut of a song that I didn’t really like anyways made it more ugh.  Last but not least, MyEver Changing Moods was just unusual to me in many ways lol.  I hope “Chasing Hope” will be more exciting than this!!!

 

BONNIE PINK – Tsumetai Ame March 1, 2012

Filed under: BONNIE PINK — solarblade @ 6:40 pm

Track Listing

  1. Tsumetai Ame
  2. Keep Crawling
  3. Nichinichisou (2011.11.27 Live at Nihonbashi Mitsui Hall)
  4. Kingyo (2011.11.27 Live at Nihonbashi Mitsui Hall) (Limited Edition Bonus Track)
  5. Tsumetai Ame (Instrumental)
  6. Keep Crawling (Instrumental)

1. Tsumetai Ame

We really haven’t had a rockin’ track from Kaori since “Kane wo Narashite” so long ago so hearing this is quite a nice surprise coming back to.  Of course there’s not a whole lot to really say about the song because it’s just a nice BP song and there really isn’t a whole lot wrong going on here.  At least it’s a step-up from the Owl City-like “Kite”.

2. Keep Crawling

I loved that she released a B-side collection with her last album since a lot of them were really good and some better than A-sides.  Keep Crawling keeps this tradition going with deeper synths and a poppy atmosphere going.  I loved hearing Kaori singing deeper as well and added this interesting sexy feel but then the chorus comes up and I’m a little disappointed since she keeps on one note…it was a little bit meh but the song is still catchy enough for me to warrant more listens.

3. Nichinichisou (2011.11.27 Live at Nihonbashi Mitsui Hall)

The rest of the single are live versions of old songs of hers.  The first is the more recent one from “Golden Tears”.  I enjoy hearing Kaori singing live and she sounds nice but a little different than I hear on her studio songs…I little more higher I guess?  Still this song is still quite as catchy and confusing to write out >.<.  I’ve seen it written as Hibisou…but she doesn’t say that once…it’s Nichinichisou I guess…

 

 

*will review the other live once it leaks*.  After taking a break (and releasing that acoustic album) it felt nice seeing Kaori return with an actually good single.  While I don’t think Tsumetai Ame breaks new ground, it’s not bad and better than her last A-side that’s for sure while the B-side Keep Crawling was good but a little redundant at times.  The live version of Nichinichisou was pretty good though IMO…Good start to an era!

 

BONNIE PINK – Dear Diary October 8, 2010

Filed under: BONNIE PINK — solarblade @ 2:23 am

Track Listing

  1. Is This Love?
  2. Morning Glory
  3. Cookie Flavor
  4. Suki KILLER
  5. Hurricane
  6. Find a Way
  7. Home Sweet Home
  8. Many Moons Ago
  9. World Peace
  10. Birthday Girl
  11. Here I Am
  12. Kite
  13. Grow
  14. Nagareboshi
  15. Nami Nami

1. Is This Love?

We begin Kaori’s album with the two digital singles she released in the era, starting with the second released, Is This Love?  I do like the fact this is an upbeat song since her main songs have been low-tempo slow songs, so it was refreshing to hear something like this.  I do think the song is rather repetitive especially in the later half of the song, but I liked the meaning of the song and it’s hard not to really hate it.

2. Morning Glory

Then again, I have a hard time remembering Morning Glory which was the first digital single and first released in the era.  I’m not sure why I have deja vu moments to Reading Rainbow when I listen to this song because it has the rather oldish sound going on and with the synths, it didn’t help the situation.  At least it wasn’t too boring of a song right? 

3. Cookie Flavor

As we get into our new songs, Cookie Flavor is quite the strong track from the album.  It has this kind of pop/rock sound that she carried over from “ONE” and I think it’s great she’s keeping that up and since the song is humorous, Cookie Flavor is a lulzy song.  I mean ~cuh-cuh-cuh-cuh cookieeee!~  I just can’t really take the song seriously…but it’s still cute for Kaori.

4. Suki KILLER

I like how chilled out and funky Suki KILLER is even though it has a much simpler arrangement than “Cookie Flavor” for sure.  It’s a bit unusual since the minimal sound it has is the only thing going for it, but whenever Kaori sings the title, it’s oddly catchy and easy to sing along with.  Weird song, but I kind of like it despite such a laidback flow.

5. Hurricane

At least we’re going back into more fuller arrangements starting with Hurricane.  For me, it’s the first rather mid-tempo song and it definitely has a “ONE” kind of sound going on.  Sadly though it’s kind of one of the less memorable songs for me since she doesn’t really sound into the song and neither am I. 

6. Find a Way

Find a Way doesn’t exactly really do much of trying to fix what happened in “Hurricane”, but I think I prefer this more just because Kaori sounds interesting here and the chords are good to listen too as well.  I’m surprised the chorus is as loud as it is because I just didn’t expect it from a song like this, but it’s a good touch.  Ok, it’s much better than I thought it’d be.

7. Home Sweet Home

As the album’s first ballad, Home Sweet Home sticks to its roots and just stays very sweet and very Kaori-like through the entire thing which is great for fans of her earlier music since it just has this nostalgic feel.  I think the best parts of the song is when Kaori sings in a higher register TBH…good ballad, but sleep-inducing.  Did I mention it’s a bit of a jazz ballad?

8. Many Moons Ago

Why does this song sound familiar?  I don’t know why, but Many Moons Ago is kind of like “Hurricane”, but I did find the synth involvement endearing and kind of bold for a song like this.  It’s alright, but the Western feeling is kind of dragging me down and making me sleepy here.

9. World Peace

At least we finally leave the kind of sleepy area and get into some of the odder songs from the album.  World Peace is pretty weird because of the light Indian sound it’s putting off, but I don’t mind this since it’s really catchy and not shoved down your throat.  It’s simple and sweet and to the point and I enjoyed it a lot.

10. Birthday Girl

Wow, right from the start, I was like…”Catch The Sun”?  Yeah, they are pretty similar to one another, but I don’t mind it because Birthday Girl is one of the better upbeat songs from the album since it has a good happy mood going for it.  I definitely approve for songs like this which is good.  One of my favorites of the album.

11. Here I Am

Finally getting into our second ballad of the album, Here I Am kind of reminds me of a mix of “Home Sweet Home” and “Hurricane”.  I mean it starts off quietly and moves along itself until the chorus where it becomes a mid-tempo tune with drums and acoustic guitar.  At least it moves better than previous songs, I’ll agree to that and it’s better than some other songs.

12. Kite

Since it only has been two weeks since Kite was released, I still haven’t really gotten to enjoy the song as I should be.  Besides the obvious allusion to Owl City, Kite isn’t so much of a bad song…but sometimes it’s just a tad bit annoying to hear ~I’m a kite, I’m a kite~ every so often in the song.  Though on the album, this kind of is an odd song because the synths aren’t like the others and the flow is different.  I think I’ll eventually fall for it.

13. Grow

After an interesting song in “Kite”, Grow kind of comes in and cuts the mood lower.  Being an English-only song, Grow is pretty to listen to, but the surprise is that it’s just acoustic guitar and Kaori singing for the most part.  I did like the fact that Kaori cleaned her English up quite nicely because she doesn’t sound like she has a thick accent like in some other songs.  It’s the simplest song off the album, but at the same time, it’s vulnerable and the lyrics are so sweet.  WAY TO GO!

14. Nagareboshi

Nagareboshi slowly brings the mood back up with something simple, but once again like “Hurricane” the way it sounds is just a bit lifeless for me and her vocals aren’t as great as in previous songs.  I don’t know how to really explain this song, but it’s just a little meh for me.

15. Nami Nami

A song about Nami Tamaki?  Oh no no no…ending the album off, Nami Nami doesn’t seem like the song to finish the album, but it’s quirky and the added strings gave it a nice touch for sure, but there’s something still missing for me.  There’s just something different going on and I’m not sure if I’m a big fan of it.

Tracks Recommended

  • Birthday Girl
  • Find a Way
  • World Peace
  • Grow
  • Cookie Flavor

Song of Avoidance

  • Hurricane

I don’t know why, but for me Dear Diary just kind of fell flat for me when compared to her last few albums.  There wasn’t a song that instantly popped out and I liked it immediately like with “ONE”.  About that, this album really does take “Thinking Out Loud” and “ONE” and mixed them together to get this album.  I don’t know it just wasn’t that good at first listen, but I’ll grow to like it I hope.

 

BONNIE PINK – Kite September 22, 2010

Filed under: BONNIE PINK — solarblade @ 11:20 pm

Track Listing

  1. Kite
  2. Busy-Busy-Bee
  3. Kite (Instrumental)
  4. Busy-Busy-Bee (Instrumental)

1. Kite

I’m surprised that when I turned Kite on to listen it for the first time that Kite sounded like something Owl City would’ve made because of those synths that were used.  I do like that the song is memorable and Kaori sounds really nice except how she pulls the ~I’m a kite, I’m a kite~ that sounds weird to me.  Otherwise, this song sounds really good even though I’m still thrown off by the Owl City synths.

2. Busy-Busy-Bee

As for the B-side that’s not going to make it on “Dear Diary”, Busy-Busy-Bee has a more rock-styled arrangement that follows some of the stuff found on “ONE”.  Also produced by Burning Chicken, I was expecting something that was going to be good, but for the most part I found myself bored with the song.  “You & I” still rolls all over this.  I’m not sure why I don’t like but I think it’s this whole ~busy busy bee~ line that’s said more than enough times in the song.

 

 

As the only physical release prior to “Dear Diary”, Kite is better than her last single “Joy/Happy Ending” simply because this single wasn’t a ballad single, that’s for sure.  Kite stills throws me off with the whole “Fireflies” feeling I get from it kind of sends me somewhere else.  Busy-Busy-Bee kind of was nice, but got annoying after a while with it…Still overall in the era, she definitely went in different directions with all the songs (including the digital singles) and I enjoyed it.

 

BONNIE PINK – Is This Love? May 20, 2010

Filed under: BONNIE PINK — solarblade @ 3:35 am

Track Listing

  1. Is This Love?

1. Is This Love?

Ohhh, finally a good upbeat song from Kaori.  I like the pop/rock sound she’s going for mixed in with this odd synth undertone to give it some spice.  It has been a while since we’ve heard something upbeat from her and I kind of like this a lot.  Kaori’s vocals are also pretty good as well…Sucks that it had to be chaku-uta only.

 

 

Is this era just going to be full of digital releases?  I really want a physical single eventually.  Still, this song is pretty great and to me better than “Morning Glory” and “Joy/Happy Ending”.  Makes me wonder what she’ll do next. 

 

BONNIE PINK – Morning Glory January 21, 2010

Filed under: BONNIE PINK — solarblade @ 1:38 am

Track Listing

  1. Morning Glory

1. Morning Glory

I don’t think I’ve been this interested in a BONNIE song in quite a while and Morning Glory definitely makes up for the lack of really good songs especially since the “ONE” era was basically only good because of a few album songs and the B-sides.  The song is pretty upbeat and also has some cute spots through it and I like Kaori’s vocals here as well.  I was pretty impressed, but honestly, where was this in the last era?

 

 

It does kind of suck that Morning Glory was basically released as a digital single, but y’know I’m able to look pass it because the song is cute, catchy, and a whole lot of interesting.  Good song overall, and I hope it makes it onto her next album.