Kurayami Monogatari

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Chara – Cocoon November 20, 2012

Filed under: Chara — solarblade @ 4:18 am

Track Listing

  1. 18
  2. DADAAN
  3. Alterna Girlfriend
  4. Lita
  5. Kogarashi to Utau
  6. Waiting for You
  7. Planet
  8. Chouchou Musubi
  9. Itoshi Itoshi to Iu Kokoro
  10. Toku ni
  11. Cocoon
  12. Amaete yo (bonus track)

1. 18

The album opens up with 18 which is cool…but it’s a bit of a strange song since it kind of has this jazzy/reggae mix going plus with the intro with Chara under filters is strange.  There’s something about this song that’s kind of cute and unique for her…some of her tones is really gritty but I love the arrangement of the song and some of Chara’s singing isn’t too bad.

2. DADAAN

I feel like when I get into DADAAN, it’s like Chara is trying be a rocker chick and she kind of pulls it off but doesn’t as well.  The arrangement is kind of hazy and just a bit too filtered out to make it sound good.  Though I will say that hearing Chara trying to push her vocals as a rocker is a nice change of pace and she pulls that off.  I’m on the fence for this one.

3. Alterna Girlfriend

As the first single for the era, Alterna Girlfriend still is kind of also on the fence for me, but now it’s leaning towards more of the like side.  I’m surprised that it’s one of two tracks under 3 minutes (and yet it isn’t the shortest track).  I kind of like the sound of this track and Chara isn’t totally annoying as she has been in the past.  The chorus is still the worst part of the song…but it’s so short that it doesn’t really kill the song.  Not bad…

4. Lita

I’m kind of liking some of the electronic additions Chara has made concerning the album so far.  Lita starts off with some electronic bleeps but cuts it out for more of a pop/rock feel.  I’m actually enjoying this song since Chara’s voice isn’t a problem here…actually it’s kind of groovy in its own way.  Definitely a favorite off the album!

5. Kogarashi to Utau

Our next song begins with a clock ticking before this cute synth melody is added in.  There’s something mesmerizing about this song for some reason and I think it’s the whole Owl City-ish feel about the song.  I like how minimal everything is in this song…it just makes the song flow smoothly along.  There are some skectchy parts with Chara singing a little louder than she should but it’s a small discrepency.

6. Waiting for You

I’m surprised Chara actually sung in English for this track, but most of the time I feel like she’s babbling on and on with her strange vocals.  As for the arrangement, it’s got this kind of Beatles feel to it which is kind of just that simple rock feel.  It’s intriguing and something unique on the album, but otherwise it’s kind of forgetful.

7. Planet

As the album’s second single, Planet was a favorite of the singles, before “Chouchou Musubi” popped up!  Like “Alterna Girlfriend” it’s got such a unique sound to it and I’ve found myself liking the track for being so otherworldly.  I still do have moments where I squint because of her throaty and loud parts…but this is a really cool song otherwise.

8. Chouchou Musubi

Fitting to put the 3rd A-side after “Planet”.  As the only ballad that was released as an A-side, Chouchou Musubi is really soft and quiet and yet has this mysterious thing going on with the background knick-knacks.  Chara sounds really pleasant singing during the verses and the chorus is also softly sung as well.  It’s definitely the easiest A-side to take since she sounds really solid and doesn’t get catty…well one part…but it was like two words.  This is definitely growing on me and I consider it the best of the three A-sides released.

9. Itoshi Itoshi to Iu Kokoro

Back to the rest of the new tracks, Itoshi Itoshi to Iu Kokoro certainly fits coming after “Chouchou Musubi” because they’re both slower songs and both have good vocals (even though this one kind of has more risks going on),  This is actually quite calming and somewhat solid of a song (should’ve released this as a single to be honest),

10. Toku ni

I’m not sure why but Chara has been doing well on this album especially with the ballads here since they’re actually pretty good.  Toku ni though might be least favorite of them since the arrangement is incredibly bland and just has piano and Chara is kind of annoying in the song for some reason.  Sometimes simplicity, isn’t all that great….and in this case that’s true for Toku ni.

11. Cocoon

As the final and title track, looking at Cocoon’s time length is incredibly absurd.  Being over a little above 10 minutes, it’s like I’m dealing with another “Naive to Innocence” again!  I really wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into and from the intro it’s like a strange walk through nature and Chara XD.  I love the jazz/blues style for the song because I’ve always felt that Chara would work it better in this style.  A little after the halfway mark, the song shifts from the slow jazz into a rock song and that threw me off.  It’s not bad but Chara’s voice is kind of meh in many parts and the sudden shift felt like there was two seperate songs at play (I guess it could make sense since the song is called…Cocoon).

12. Amaete yo

The bonus track, Amaete yo is the shortest song off the album and this actually worked as the final track actually.  It’s really only Chara and acoustic guitar.  Unlike “Toku ni”, Amaete yo sounds really pleasant and she sounds actually good here for the oddest reasons xD. 

Tracks Recommended

  • Lita
  • Itoshi Itoshi to Iu Kokoro
  • Chouchou Musubi
  • Kogarashi to Utau
  • Planet

Song of Avoidance

  • Toku ni

WOW!  A Chara album that I don’t totally despise!  The sheer fact that Chara had joined Ki/oon is probably the main reason why this album was 100x better than “Utakata” and “Dark Candy” put together.  It was like Chara has some kind of mind explosion and she popped out Cocoon and it was actually good.  Granted, Chara still hasn’t grown on me in the vocal department, but the arrangements have won me over easily here.  Good job Chara, you’re not on my shitlist XD

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Chara – Chouchou Musubi October 27, 2012

Filed under: Chara — solarblade @ 6:41 pm

Track Listing

  1. Chouchou Musubi
  2. Tiny Tiny Tiny (2012.4.21 Ki/oon 20 Years & Days at Tokyo LIQUIDROOM Ebisu)

1. Chouchou Musubi

After two upbeat tracks, I guess it was time to change for more of a ballad.  Chouchou Musubi might not as intriguing of a song like the previous two singles, but the song is arranged nicely as this kind of euphoric experience.  Add that Chara isn’t sounding terrible makes this also a little more easier to swallow.  Not bad of a track, not my cup of tea, but I can actually listen to this (strange, I’ve been slightly enjoying Chara more in this era than I have ever been with her >.>)

2. Tiny Tiny Tiny (2012.4.21 Ki/oon 20 Years & Days at Tokyo LIQUIDROOM Ebisu)

Just like the last two singles, the B-side is actually just a live cut.  This time it’s a live version of Tiny Tiny Tiny (her 12th single).  I am a little surprised that it’s longer than 8 minutes which is kind of making me all worried.  I don’t think I liked this as much as I did with her last live version, but I think Tiny Tiny Tiny is one of Chara’s more recognizable tunes…so ehhhh.

 

 

Closing out the “Cocoon” era, Chouchou Musubi is just average.  I liked the arrangement of the leading track and Chara’s vocals aren’t too catty here so that’s a good thing.  The Tiny Tiny Tiny live cut, isn’t much to me sadly.  I’m thinking the album will actually be somewhat exciting but not a lot…who knows.

 

Chara – Planet August 9, 2012

Filed under: Chara — solarblade @ 3:39 am

Track Listing

  1. Planet
  2. Shimashima no Bambi (2012.4.21 Ki/oon 20 Years & Days at Tokyo LIQUIDROOM Ebisu)

1. Planet

I have to say that since Chara joined Ki/oon, her arrangements have been a lot more intriguing and interesting to listen to but Chara as a singer has a been questionable ordeal to deal with.  I liked her light and whispery vocals in some of the verses but everything else is just a little too much but it isn’t totally cringe-inducing because she’s got effects going on to make her sound distant.  Her louds parts are very catty and just yeesh to listen to, but I actually can say this is her best track I’ve listened to since “CAROL”.

2. Shimashima no Bambi (2012.4.21 Ki/oon 20 Years & Days at Tokyo LIQUIDROOM Ebisu)

Of course like her last single, we get a live version of one of Chara’s songs.  This time it’s Shimashima no Bambi (from the “Junior Sweet” album) and I actually found myself liking this live version because she has a really nice talking voice and plays a little with the crowd.  The song is kind of funky and jazzy which totally captured my senses.  It’s weird because I think she’s a pretty good singer with this older song. 

 

 

Wow the first time where I’m not gonna totally bash Chara lol.  I mean Planet is pretty good musically but some of Chara’s notes are a bit to handle, but the song overall was pretty interesting.  However, the live version of Shimashima no Bambi was actually quite impressive (makes me wonder why she can’t sing in this tone more often).  Shocker for me!

 

Chara – Alterna Girlfriend June 8, 2012

Filed under: Chara — solarblade @ 7:06 am

Track Listing

  1. Alterna Girlfriend
  2. Taisetsu wo Kizukumono 2012.2.15 Tokyo Bunka Kaikan

1. Alterna Girlfriend

For not even reaching 3 minutes, I was wondering what we were going to get out of Alterna Girlfriend and boy was I surprised.  I mean the song is quite edgy sounding and not a ballad like most of the stuff I’ve heard from her was.  This has got guitars and synths and movement.  Now minus the chorus, Chara isn’t that bad oddly enough.  I mean the verses were cool and she gave a mysterious sound.  However, the chorus was pretty much the song’s fault because she was VERY nasally and literally did sound like a dying cat in heat.  Besides that mess, the rest of the song, while short was good.

2. Taisetsu wo Kizukumono 2012.2.15 Tokyo Bunka Kaikan

Not surprised that she would add a live.  One of her many A-side, Taisetsu wo Kizukumono isn’t a song I’m familiar with but it’s interesting to hear her sing something live.  Her voice IS really that scratchy live as well, even though it’s a ballad with just piano and acoustic piano.  She’s alright but nothing that amazing but later on when accordion (or is that harmonica?) it’s pleasant.  Six minutes though is just asking too much for Chara though hahaha.

 

 

Chara after having an actual blah time bring an indies artist. went back to SONY under Ki/oon Records and released her first single, Alterna Girlfriend.  It’s got a lot more spark than the stuff I’ve came into (anything “CAROL” to her last release before this, “Utakata”).  I kind of liked Alterna Girlfriend, but that chorus is REALLY hard to get through.  The live version of Taisetsu wo Kizukumono was nice but a little long for me.  Maybe it’s a change of styles eh?

 

Chara – Utakata November 8, 2011

Filed under: Chara — solarblade @ 9:46 am

Track Listing

  1. Feeling Feeling
  2. Magic View
  3. Eien wo Shiranai ka
  4. Oshiete
  5. Mayonaka no Yakusoku
  6. Wakannai
  7. Aishitai no

1. Feeling Feeling

Just already with the first song I sense there’s a different feel than her last album, “Dark Candy”.  I mean the acoustic guitar being the major thing in the arrangement is really nice and pleasant.  I will say that I’m surprised that Chara is singing in such a quiet tone for the first track but even weirder is that it sounds good for the most part.  Maybe a little too airy/breathy for me but it’s a nice track to open the mini with I’d say.

2. Magic View

She continues to utilize her breathy vocals for the next track in Magic View but at least she sings a little louder but that’s just a big no-no because she starts sounding like a dying cat.  Luckily this track is a couple seconds under 3 minutes so it’s not going to kill anyone really.  I’m a little surprised that so far on the mini, I’ve noticed the arrangements have been bare and basic.  Ehhhh…

3. Eien wo Shiranai ka

So the third track on the mini-album is the shortest one at two minutes.  It’s so quiet at first and it doesn’t do much.  Once Chara does come in, it gets a little frustrating because her vocals kind of annoy me since they get louder and gets this echo effect going and it just kills me on the inside.  The arrangement is a little rock-based but there’s not a lot of oomph here.  Two minutes huh?  Surprised it wasn’t any longer TBH.

4. Oshiete

Shortest to longest song, Oshiete starts off with guitar before this kind of (beat?) starts to join in.  Thank god because this mini so far has been so minimalistic and it’s nice to see something a little more driven with Oshiete.  Then it just fades to just guitar and Chara, but somehow this song works for me.  It is a little long though I will admit but this is pretty nice and I don’t mind Chara’s vocals here.

5. Mayonaka no Yakusoku

Hey, there is something that sound like it could’ve been from her last album!  Mayonaka no Yakusoku really doesn’t sound like any of the previous songs before because there’s synths and Chara is singing pretty loudly.  That being said, it’s the song’s downfall.  I swear she’s pulling off DYING CAT really well.  The verses are probably the song’s safest part XD.  If it was sung by someone else >.>

6. Wakannai

After that excitement, we move back down to the quiet and lowkey sounds with Wakannai which is just Chara and piano togehter.  I try to see if she does these well.  I guess to fans, this is her bread and butter, but seriously I don’t see it very well because while the melody is sad and moving, Chara just kills the mood.  Not liking this at all.

7. Aishitai no

Finally, the seventh and final track comes up and it begins like a magical lullaby with orgel/glockenspiel.  It’s not surprising that the song is another ballad but it actually it sounds alright since Chara isn’t totally going out of bounds (but backup vocals?).  It’s alright but after the previous tracks, I’m just happy that we’re at the end!

 

 

 

I know I might be harsh, but seriously I know she’s praised on her musicality and various lyrical things…but her voice is atrocious.  It’s almost on par with MOON -Kana-‘s vocals.  I mean jeeze, ballads are good and she does the arrangements quite well but singing them is just not her forte.  Girl needs to get training XD.  Utakata is definitely a step down from “Dark Candy” I say.

 

Chara – Dark Candy April 19, 2011

Filed under: Chara — solarblade @ 9:21 pm

Track Listing

  1. Countdown
  2. Yura Shitagaru
  3. Eien no Uta
  4. Toy Soldier
  5. Little bird
  6. Koko ni Ite
  7. Rachel
  8. Naive to Innocence
  9. Dark Candy
  10. Sainou no Jyou

1. Countdown

Starting the album on a happy note, Countdown has a kind of groovy feel to it with a slight reggae feel but kind of catchy feel to it.  Now I’ve been mean to Chara since her vocals are very unique to her and oddly enough it fits this kind of tune.  She has a weird tone and the chorus does make me ears cringe as she goes into ultimate nasal mode…the verses though sound good…*sigh*

2. Yura Shitagaru

Even more bouncy and fun, arrangement-wise than the opening track, Yura Shitagaru has an interesting style to it and it’s fun to listen to and bounce along with the tune.  Chara once again takes her whispery vocals for the verses and gets louder in the chorus which doesn’t bother me too much.  Her vocals also are a whole lot easier to take in since she doesn’t hit high notes for the most part.

3. Eien no Uta

Moving out of the happy pop stuff, we enter our first ballad with Eien no Uta.  I find it weird that Chara likes to find solace in her songs by whispering through her stuff, but then again she sound rather good when she does it.  As solid as her singing is in the song, the arrangement lacks support and kind of just falls flat after a while.

4. Toy Soldier

Hmmm, Chara going for a more urban styled kind of track?  It kind of shows with the beats and interesting sounds that were being used.  I’m starting to get bored with Chara whispering in her songs at this point of the album and it reaches boiling point here.  The chorus does make the gal sound like a cat…but whatever.

5. Little bird

I really loved how Little bird sounds since it sounds clearer than previous songs and musically pleasant to the ears.  I can tell Chara wanted to sound a bit less nasally for the song and she does it well…until she makes the change back into her normal style and it kind of takes me out of the song.  Once again the chorus is just difficult…especially her wail at the end of each chorus….get me some advil!

6. Koko ni Ite

Going back towards a more cuter side to Chara’s music ala the first few songs, it’s an interesting song since it’s simple with piano and drums for the most part.  Chara sounds nice, but the filtered parts with her were a bit cringing.  Still a much stronger song on the album to be honest. 

7. Rachel

Rachel at the beginning, slightly creeped me out first with the changing of channels on a TV.  Once that clears up, Rachel turns out to be a rather cute song from Chara since it’s well bouncy with the repeating piano notes.  It’s a fun little track from her and she doesn’t seem to really hit sour notes for me…but she still has a way nasally tone to her voice here.

8. Naive to Innocence

I can’t believe that on this album, Naive to Innocence is the longest track at past 8 minutes in length.  I mean when it takes a minute and a half to finally hear her sing under such a slow arrangement, you know it’s going to be a huge borefest.  If you really like these slow songs you’ll like it and Chara doesn’t do too bad, but it’s too long for me.

9. Dark Candy

As the title track found near the end, Dark Candy is a weird surprise since it’s got an unusual arrangement and kind of sounds like something princess-y for the most part.  Also, this is where I don’t like Chara’s vocals since she’s uber nasal and yelling under the tone…it’s just too much and just sucks all-around.

10. Sainou no Jyou

Now we’re at the ending of the album with Sainou no Jyou and it took out the wacky keyboards from “Dark Candy” and left a bare version to me with strings, marching drums, and piano and some other interesting choices of instruments.  She does hit sour notes, but it’s oddly in between good notes so it’s like an odd barrage.

Tracks Recommended

  • Yura Shitagaru
  • Countdown
  • Rachel
  • Koko ni Ite

Song of Avoidance

  • Dark Candy

Yeah….I’m still not a fan of Chara’s voice, but her arrangements for the most part sounded good enough to make me enjoy it…it’s just the singer that totally bombs a good portion of her songs due to her really bizarre tone of singing.  At least there’s a few songs that were ok but she’s not my kind of artist.

 

Chara – breaking hearts February 11, 2010

Filed under: Chara — solarblade @ 4:17 am

Track Listing

  1. breaking hearts
  2. Mamotte Agetai
  3. breaking hearts (Instrumental)

1. breaking hearts

Ok, I’ll admit, I love how breaking hearts opens with bells and strings.  Though things really go downhill once Chara opens her mouth.  It seems like she’s trying to be like RURUTIA with the whispering/singing just to get by, but when she starts getting louder it’s like I’m listening to a JPN Macy Grey and that’s definitely a big red flag for me.  I don’t want to say she’s a bad singer in the song because in some points she sounds nice but other times I wonder what she’s smoking because her vocals are way too nasally.  It’s like a dying cat…I’m so torn with this song…

2. Mamotte Agetai

Why does her vocals seems so far away from the speakers and why is she amazingly too soft?  This cover of Yumi Matsutoya’s big tune was probably a bad idea to do because it’s just so vocally unstable.  I just feel rather uncomfortable listening to it all because her vocals are just not one with the song.

 

 

I’m sorry, but Chara is definitely starting on my shitlist because her vocals are just wildly unbearable with this single…I don’t know why she’s had such a career when other artists (who sound way better) aren’t this big…Wow the JPN are weird people…