Kurayami Monogatari

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Chiaki Ishikawa – Kono Sekai wo Dare ni mo Katarasenai You ni April 25, 2012

Filed under: Chiaki Ishikawa — solarblade @ 4:12 am

Track Listing

  1. TW
  2. The Giving Tree
  3. My book
  4. Fukanzen Nenshou
  5. Uninstall ~Boku ga Saigo no Pilot Remix~
  6. Switch ga Haittara
  7. Gyakkou
  8. Insomnia
  9. Natsu no Niwa
  10. Sore wa Magire mo Naku ~Erebarashi Mono no Solitude~
  11. Ruisen
  12. Mou Nani mo Kowakunai, Kowaku wa Nai
  13. Sherbet Snow

1. TW

I find it pretty sweet that Chiaki would open her album with TW (from “Mou Nani mo Kowakunai, Kowaku wa Nai”) since it was one of my favorite songs during this era.  It’s funny that they would start with this because the first two words of the song are ~kono sekai~ LOL.  Reasons I enjoyed the song was because while it is pretty mid-tempo, it flowed smoothly and the light beats and piano-laced melody worked together and sounds like a GUNDAM theme (oh wait it was) XD. 

2. The Giving Tree

The first of the new songs on the album, The Giving Tree is an interesting name since I remember the name as a story (not sure if it’s connected one way or another but anyway…).  Chiaki’s vocals have seem to get a little more weaker than it was on the previous album but I enjoy The Giving Tree from it’s anime-esque feel and the flutes and strings in it.  It’s quite nice a lot stronger than “TW” oddly enough.

3. My book

I continue to like this folkish nature from Chiaki and My book sounds like something you’d find in a JRPG since it’s got this slow and dreary atmosphere that seems to sound good…plus there’s a lot of bass present haha.  It’s a real laidback kind of song and Chiaki’s vocals while not surprising that they don’t fit TOO well in the setting gave color to the song as well.  Interesting song.

4. Fukanzen Nenshou

The primary 3rd A-side, Fukanzen Nenshou comes rushing in with its latin vibes and still manages to be one of the more impressive songs that were released prior to the album.  After a while I did start to think there were different issues going on like some of the lyrics didn’t suit the arrangement (like the chorus) and Chiaki’s vocals were a bit more throaty than normal but I still somehow like it lol.

5. Uninstall ~Boku ga Saigo no Pilot Remix~

Of course it wasn’t going to be long before Chiaki would do a remix of Uninstall which is one of her more well-known songs.  It’s a bit of an odd one at that at first because of the way it begins but at least it moves a little better once more things jump in.  There’s a lot of echos in it and some weird stuff going on but it’s a remix what are you going to do…it’s not as good as the original.

6. Switch ga Haittara

It wasn’t long until we were going to hear the secondary A-side opposite to “Fukanzen Nenshou”.  I said on the single review that I like the more Western sound of the tune but it wore off after a while but I do like the acoustic arrangement when compared to the its sister A-side.  After a while it does kind of fall off the radar for me since it really doesn’t build anywhere but the guitar solo in the middle was a nice touch.

7. Gyakkou

Then we move into the first A-side released for the album and Gyakkou is still pretty damn pretty, especially opening with the shimasen of all instruments.  I think this was the most impressive because it was truly quite different and traditional to Japan.  Plus, Chiaki’s vocals are quite nice even though I noticed at this point that her voice sounded different than on “Dare mo Oshiete Kure Nakatta Koto”.  It does seem like the ending goes on too long sometimes, but it’s still the best from the A-sides.

8. Insomnia

Of the new songs, I was surprised that Insomnia is pretty basic and bland when compared to the other new tracks of the album sadly.  The arrangement doesn’t really do much for me since it kind of feels like regular ole guitar and piano lol.  Probably my least favorite song of the album.

9. Natsu no Niwa

Oh god the eerie ~eeeeeEEEEeeeEEEEeeee~ returns to completely weird me out at the beginning (not as harsh as “Prototype” but still goddamn awkward).  At least we got our ballad to deal with on the album and it’s also pretty book basics.  It’s not terrible though which is good and the odd ad-libbing adds a little creepy status to the song so it’s nice there…but ultimately forgettable…

10. Sore wa Magire mo Naku ~Erebarashi Mono no Solitude~

That jingling at the intro reminded me of PictoChat for some reason XD.  At least Chiaki opened the song by singing the title of the song first!  It does gain momentum from “Natsu no Niwa” which is nice and the folkish/Kajiura feel is present here for some reason but whatever the reason, I really enjoyed its relaxed style and Chiaki’s vocals aren’t as nasally as they are in some other songs.  Pretty soothing of a song here.

11. Ruisen

Oh yeah!  “Gyakkou’s” B-side finally comes up next and I must say I also really liked this song too because this was the kind of ballad I was hoping Chiaki would release.  I mean it is colorful, had nice movement and flow and just sounds like something you’d hear in Naruto (like background music not themes).  It still is a bit too long (6 minutes) but it’s a pretty ballad for sure and one of my favorites from her.

11. Mou Nani mo, Kowakunai, Kowaku wa Nai

Ahhh, the second A-side appears now and unfortunately is another ballad that moves a little slower than “Ruisen”.  I feel for this song as much as I do for “Insomnia”.  The song kind of drags the entire time and the arrangement isn’t very intriguing…kind of basic as well.  Reason why I took to “TW” a lot more.

13. Sherbet Snow

Closing the album out, Sherbet Snow sounds like it’d be a cute song (which is pretty uncharacteristic for her) and it turns out to be the quietest and slowest ballad on the album…actually it felt like there was no arrangement and Chiaki was singing acapella.  It DOES have one but it’s so subdued and quiet that you just don’t hear it unless Chiaki isn’t singing….ugh appropriate ending and all…just too empty!

Tracks Recommended

  • Ruisen
  • The Giving Tree
  • Sore wa Magire mo Naku ~Erabareshi Mono no Solitude~
  • TW

Song of Avoidance

  • Insomnia

Comparing to the other album I’ve heard from her, Kono Sekai wo… is pretty much a subdued and more softer release against “Dare mo Oshiete Kure Nakatta Koto”.  There wasn’t many songs that popped out at me unlike the last album but the ones that did were slower songs (oddly enough).  If you were expecting stuff like “49scale” and “Shylpeed”…you won’t find that here so be warned coming into her 4th.

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Chiaki Ishikawa – Fukanzen Nenshou/Switch ga Haittara August 1, 2011

Filed under: Chiaki Ishikawa — solarblade @ 7:40 pm

Track Listing

  1. Fukanzen Nenshou
  2. Switch ga Haittara
  3. Fukanzen Nenshou (without vocal)
  4. Switch ga Haittara (without vocal)

1. Fukanzen Nenshou

I love how Fukanzen Nenshou sounds like a latin song from Chiaki, but it also includes Chiaki’s chanting style through some parts of the song.  She sounds fitting for the atmosphere of the song and it comes off as vibrant and colorful which is something she has needed for quite a while.  There’s places where her vocals felt rushed in the song, but otherwise it’s a good song to listen to and pretty unique in Chiaki’s discography.

2. Switch ga Haittara

The other A-side of the single is actually more like a relaxed and slightly Western sounding “Fukanzen Nenshou” but you know…different.  I kind of liked this track a bit more since it comes of as relaxing and calm to listen to.  It still sounds refreshing for me so this is the much preferred song on this single.

Chiaki’s 3rd single of the era and she gets it right altogether.  Both songs sound refreshing after “Gyakkou” and “Mou Nani mo Kowakunai, Kowaku wa Nai” and I feel this is her best single so far.  I love the latin flair and energy that came off of Fukanzen Nenshou and then Switch ga Haittara came in with a more Western sound.  Yay good single!

 

Chiaki Ishikawa – Mou Nani mo Kowakunai, Kowaku wa Nai October 7, 2010

Filed under: Chiaki Ishikawa — solarblade @ 9:57 am

Track Listing

  1. Mou Nani mo Kowakunai, Kowaku wa Nai
  2. TW
  3. Mou Nani mo Kowakunai, Kowaku wa Nai (without vocal)
  4. TW (without vocal)

1. Mou Nani mo Kowakunai, Kowaku wa Nai

Wait, GUNDAM 00 has a new tie-in…oh it’s just a insert song for the movie…  Well then, I’m surprised they chose Chiaki for a song this time around.  I don’t think the song is memorable as a GUNDAM song since it’s so simple with acoustic guitar and a light pop/rock sound, but it’s also because of Chiaki’s vocals that kind of don’t fit as well.  I think a bit more could’ve been done to make more memorable like “Uninstall” or something, but it passes since it’s easier for me to like than “Gyakko”.

2. TW

I really have no idea what TW stands for at all, but I think this should’ve been the song to have been the insert song for GUNDAM since it has that flow to it and hearing the beating synths that are light mixed with the light arrangement and for me it was way better.  I think I enjoyed Chiaki’s vocals as well moreso than in the A-side which is weird…Still pretty good mid-tempo song.

I really don’t know what’s going on for Chiaki’s 2nd single of the era.  I mean as far as GUNDAM songs go, Mou Nani mo Kowakunai, Kowaku wa Nai is pretty disappointing and kind of just pales to other ballads in both the series and in Chiaki’s discography.  However, TW should’ve been the A-side and sounds like it made so much more sense as well.  Hopefully the B-side makes the album cut!

 

Chiaki Ishikawa – Gyakkou August 2, 2010

Filed under: Chiaki Ishikawa — solarblade @ 5:26 pm

Track Listing

  1. Gyakkou
  2. Ruisen
  3. Rakarui ~2010 NewYork Trad-Mix
  4. Gyakkou (without vocal)
  5. Ruisen (without vocal)

1. Gyakkou

After hearing her last album kind of was meh to me, Gyakkou rightfully put me back into place.  Opening with a beautiful erhu solo, I was surprised with the light dance style with acoustic guitar.  Even Chiaki’s vocals sounded sweeter than normal.  Though to me she sounds older than stuff found on her last album.  I guess that being said, she is a little shriller than I remember from stuff on “Daremo Oshiete Kurenakatta Koto”.

2. Ruisen

Being a ad similar to “Gyakkou”, but replace the erhu with shakuhachi and it seems a little bit of an easy way out.  Her vocals are a bit normal for me and I thought she did this song better than Gyakkou since it’s a simple ballad from her and the chords of the song were more pleasant.  Should’ve been the A-side IMO.

3. Rakarui ~2010 NewYork Trad-Mix

I remembered that I actually enjoyed Rakarui back on “Daremo Oshiete Kurenakatta Koto”.  I was surprised that it gets remixed for the single and I was somewhat disappointed.  I loved how epic and folkish the original was.  This was sounds like too many ideas collided for this one.  The rather weird echo beginning kind of put me off.  Otherwise, not too much has changed, but I rather take the original.

 

 

Beginning a new era, Gyakkou is a nice single, but I miss songs like “1/2”, “Uninstall”, and friggin “Prototype”.  I’ll admit that her choice of style for the single is nice and Ruisen was the best song here since it was simple and pretty haha.  Maybe she’ll get more exciting with more singles.

 

Chiaki Ishikawa – Dare mo Oshiete Kure Nakatta Koto October 3, 2009

Filed under: Chiaki Ishikawa — solarblade @ 7:56 am

daremooshietekurenakattakoto

Track Listing

  1. Prototype ~Album Version
  2. Suna no Ue no Dolphin
  3. squall
  4. Cloudy
  5. Rakarui
  6. Shylpeed
  7. 49scale
  8. First Pain
  9. Blue Velvet
  10. Dare mo Oshiete Kure Nakatta Koto
  11. Taiyou
  12. 1/2

1. Prototype ~Album Version

We begin this album with a longer version of her 2nd A-side of the era, Prototype which was trying to be the “Uninstall” of the era.  Unlike the single version, it actually opens up with piano playing a long melody of the song before the weird ~eeEEEeeEee~ comes in.  I’ll admit that it was the most energetic track in the era, and it makes a strong opening.  I still think it’s a hard tune to remember, but it’s still kickass from Chiaki.

2. Suna no Ue no Dolphin

I find it strange to have Suna no Ue no Dolphin placed after “Prototype” but I can’t help but like this song a lot.  Being the first B-side of the era, it presented us with a nice flowing arrangement.  It’s quite a cute track and the acoustic solo playing that folkish line was a great thing to add.  Probably my favorite B-side here.

3. squall

Well, it could be argued that squall would provide that arguement.  Coming from “Prototype” it was also as hard driven as that A-side.  I guess that’s why “Suna no Ue no Dolphin” was placed in between because they did sound quite alike.  It also had a hook to it which the A-side didn’t which was a positive.  It does seem to lack something in there and at points feels a little empty, but still a good track.

4. Cloudy

We enter our first new track off the album, Cloudy has a pretty cool dance feel to it and Chiaki is doing a little bit of ad-libbing before guitar comes in for some notes.  I really like the arrangement as it’s consistent and doesn’t drive for wild notes and crazy ideas.  It’s a steady tune and keeps Chiaki in check.  I think I really like this song,

5. Rakarui

The only new track to get a tie-in, Rakarui really does sound like something Yuki Kajiura would take part in because it sounds like an epic folkish ballad.  I mean there’s this pounding drum that punches the song greatly and then Chiaki is singing her heart out and she sound amazing through this song. 

6. Shylpeed

Our next track is rather interesting because of the whole Cirque du Soleil feel.  As you may know I love these kind of songs that mesmerize me and since it’s folk music, I was way happy with what we got here.  I could compare this with Kalafina’s “Natsu no Ringo” since they both have that folk sound going on.  I can’t exactly say if the marimba melody was treading new ground, but damn was this another strong track from Chiaki and possibly Yuki.

7. 49scale

Then she just pulls a 180 on the album by going all electronica on us with 49scale.  The transitioning from the two songs are a tad random.  Back to the song, I was surprised at how Chiaki is comfortable with the arrangement as it flows smoothly through.  It’s another one of those odd tracks, that you might have to get used to because it’s not like the other tracks.

8. First Pain

The last A-side of the era, First Pain brings the mood down a bit because while it still contains this dance style, it feels more like a chiller “49scale” and an anime opener.  Chiaki sounds nice and the song has a cool solo section to it as well.  Let’s just say since the single it’s gotten better for me.

9. Blue Velvet

Oh was this a chilling tune.  Blue Velvet is definitely darker than the previous songs and it has this mystical feeling that instantly make me think of Yuki’s other compositions and this fitted Chiaki almost perfectly.  There’s this calming flute that comes in midway and adds an even more mystical feel to it.  I have to say, it’s one of the strongest tracks off the album.

10. Dare mo Oshiete Kure Nakatta Koto

Has anyone seen a B-side become the title track to an album before, besides capsule?  Me either.  Like the ominous ballad in “Blue Velvet”, Dare mo Oshiete Kure Nakatta Koto acts as the lighter toned ballad for the album.  I actually thought it was maybe too simple as a song for Chiaki and the sound kept going back and forth on my headphones and that annoyed me to no end.  It could be the worst track off the album, but it’s not that bad of a song.

11. Taiyou

Acting as the final new track, Taiyou goes back to the more happier upbeat songs from earlier on and Taiyou is actually a nice reawakening from the last track.  It’s a bit like “Cloudy”, but it has enough to seperate itself from said track and that’s a good thing because I really do like this arrangement.

12. 1/2

It’s been awhile since 1/2 has been released as a single and it actually fits well enough on the album, and it also works as the album’s closer.  It’s of course folk, but not as caked on which is a good thing.  The only thing I noticed is that this isn’t half as good as the other folkish driven tracks so this doesn’t come as a surprise since 1/2 is old and what not.  I guess it’s just me nitpicking, but I think I liked it more as a single A-side.

Tracks Recommended

  • Blue Velvet
  • Shylpeed
  • Prototype ~Album Version
  • Suna no Ue no Dolphin
  • First Pain

Song of Avoidance

  • Dare mo Oshiete Kure Nakatta Koto

What can I say about this album?  I mean in some points I felt I was listening to the scrapped songs from Kalafina and other times, there were songs that surprised me about Chiaki.  That being said, this isn’t too bad of an album, but it seemed she couldve done more with it.  I do like folk songs and there were plenty, but some of them did lack that spark like other folkish songs do.  This is a slow burner album for me actually…

 

Chiaki Ishikawa – First Pain July 29, 2009

Filed under: Chiaki Ishikawa — solarblade @ 11:05 pm

firstpain

Track Listing

  1. First Pain
  2. Dare mo Oshiete Kure Nakatta Koto
  3. First Pain (without vocals)
  4. Dare mo Oshiete Kure Nakatta Koto (without vocals)

1. First Pain

I can see why Yuki Kajiura was interested in Chiaki.  Right from the start her voice definitly carries a FictionJunction sound.  The song itself is a bit calmer than her last single “Prototype”, but this it’s string-based melody and light dance sound kind of works despite the loss of energy.  I guess it’s alright, but her previous singles do outshine this track.

2. Dare mo Oshiete Kure Nakatta Koto

The following B-side takes Chiaki into ballad mode.  It’s oddly very simple in the arrangement.  It’s like nothing’s going on cept for some orgel-like sound playing the melody behind Chiaki’s vocals.  I don’t know why, but the song doesn’t exactly scream perfection.  Chiaki needs musical support with her vocals.

 

 

So Chiaki’s 3rd and final single for the “Dare mo Oshiete Kure Nakatta Koto” is my least favorite of the three.  First off, the album title is the B-side?  It’s sad that it had to be so lame and such, but I’m pretty sure she coulve done better.  First Pain is better than the B-side as it does add more spice to the music, but still is underwhelming when compared to “1/2” or “Prototype. 

 

Chiaki Ishikawa – 1/2 April 7, 2009

Filed under: Chiaki Ishikawa — solarblade @ 2:31 pm
Tags: , ,

one-half

Track Listing

  1. 1/2
  2. Suna no Ue no Dolphin
  3. 1/2 (without vocal)
  4. Suna no Ue no Dolphin (without vocal)

1. 1/2

You know for being the single before “Prototype”, 1/2 actually is a very pretty song with a lot of flute melody and has a lot of acoustic guitar.  Think of something around folk music and you basically get there with this track.  Chiaki’s vocals also really sound heavenly and fits the song’s overall mood.  I think it’s a pretty track and I can’t believe I passed this up.

2. Suna no Ue no Dolphin

The B-side is also another amazing track.  The big difference is that this is solely an acoustic ballad which surprised me because I’ve never heard her just by herself and her voice is pretty nice and the song just flows in a right way.  The song doesn’t truly go for a climax, but its just soothing folk music.

 

 

Wait…Prototype was rock…and this is folk?!?  Well the legitimate first single of the era was nothing short of amazing for me.  Chiaki’s vocals are nice to listen to and both 1/2 and Suna no Ue no Dolphin were great tracks for her to be dwelling in.  She should’ve stuck to something like this *RECOMMENDED*