Kurayami Monogatari

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Chiaki Kuriyama – 0 November 5, 2013

Filed under: CHiAKi KURiYAMA — solarblade @ 9:42 am

02

Track Listing

  1. 0
  2. voice
  3. 0 (Moonbug remix)
  4. voice (Moonbug remix)
  5. 0 (instrumental)
  6. voice (instrumental)

1. 0

It’s kind of strange that we’re getting this song NOW (at the end of October) because 0 was released as a digital single back in May >.>.  Anyways, the song hasn’t changed since its initial release and honestly, that’s good because 0 is such a cool change for Chiaki!  Unlike her pop/rock singles before, this is more EDM and full of auto-tune which might surprise many of her fans.  The song is quite cool and fun to listen to and really gives Chiaki a range of sound that I really love!

2. voice

At least Chiaki puts a B-side to make up for how old “0” is.  I wasn’t sure what we were going to get, but voice seems to more closely related to her previous singles by being rock-tinged but somehow Chiaki is still under auto-tune which is a bit strange to listen, but it kind of adds a different sound against the arrangement.  I do wonder how much better it’d sound like if Chiaki wasn’t under the vocal filters but this isn’t bad.

3. 0 (Moonbug remix)

Hmmm remixes huh?  Well I wasn’t surprised the remixes were going to be more electronic but the Moonbug remix takes 0 into a dubstep field and while I like that it isn’t a TOTAL mess but the effects can be a little too much to listen to.  Though I do love that the remix keeps it’s glossy feel but at the same time bring enough change.  The dubstep parts though are definitely the highlights of the song though!

4. voice (Moonbug remix)

Then I became curious as to how voice would be treated and I really like that intro and how the track keeps some of the guitar lines but I can’t get behind Chiaki’s glitched vocals because it just gets annoying!  It’s alright of a remix, but it doesn’t capture my attention as much as “0’s” did.

 

 

While it has been 5 months since “Toyosu☆Luciferin”, I felt like this single was a slight copout just to have 0 a bit more available.  Not to say it was a weak single but was it necessary?  I mean, I guess voice was alright of an addition and the remixes were OK at best…but the single was still shining the most from 0.  I really liked that Chiaki took a chance with something a bit more electro and it worked in that respect.  Who knows what she’ll do next!

 

Chiaki Kuriyama – Toyosu☆Luciferin May 5, 2013

Filed under: CHiAKi KURiYAMA — solarblade @ 8:39 pm

toyosuluciferin

Track Listing

  1. Toyosu☆Luciferin
  2. Hodokenai, Bokura wa Zettai.
  3. Roulette de Kuchizuke wo

1. Toyosu☆Luciferin

It’s been quite a while since we’ve seen something from Chiaki and she returned with Toyosu☆Luciferin which is a bit of more of what we got ever since Chiaki changed her stylization of her name after her debut.  I’m happy that Chiaki sounds like she has gotten some vocal training between this and “Tsukiyo no Shouzou”.  Her voice doesn’t sound as strained and she’s throwing some good vibrato.  I kind of enjoyed this track for sure!

2. Hodokenai, Bokura wa Zettai.

The B-side of the single, is just like the leading track, but a little more toned down and it also shows with the way Chiaki is singing.  I have to admit the song might not strike as much of a chord as “Toyosu☆Luciferin” did, but there’s something about this that actually works here.  I think it’s the energy Chiaki is putting in the song, but the arrangement is also kind of tight and sweet (especially the guitar solo!).

3. Roulette de Kuchizuke wo

Since this single is produced by 9mm Parabellum Bullet, it was an obvious choice to include this song originally Chiaki’s debut album, “CIRCUS”.  Retreading back to this song, it actually sounds like the previous tracks so it shows that it flows well through the whole single.  I said back on the album review that this song is energetic, but her vocals are not totally amazing.

I’m happy that Chiaki returned to the music scene after an almost-year break!  Toyosu☆Luciferin isn’t a bad single and it was consistent because she worked with only one producer on this single (and band).  All the songs do sound like they flow into one another in any direction so that being said the song do sound too similar…but she gave a much better vocal performance (minus the recut track) but still overall good!

 

Chiaki Kuriyama – Tsukiyo no Shouzou November 24, 2011

Filed under: CHiAKi KURiYAMA — solarblade @ 3:39 am

Track Listing

  1. Tsukiyo no Shouzou
  2. Seishun no Mabataki

1. Tsukiyo no Shouzou

I guess Chiaki and Shiina Ringo liked their first collaboration together that they made another with Tsukiyo no Shouzou.  To be honest, while I enjoyed “Oishii Kisetsu” a lot, this one sounds altogether a lot stronger and it seems that Chiaki has focused more on her vocals which were a lot better than most of the songs from her “CIRCUS” album.  I turned out that I ended up loving the A-side.

2. Seishun no Mabataki

The B-side might come as a surprise since Seishun no Mabataki is lowkey and slower.  I wish Chiaki’s vocals didn’t really use the auto-tune in some of the places in the song since it really takes away from the experience of a ballad (which we haven’t really had since “Ryuusei no Namida”).  It had the potential to be great but the unneeded use of vocal manipulators messed up the song for me.

 

 

I’m so happy that Chiaki is continuing a music career and I’m quite happy she worked with Shiina Ringo once again!  Tsukiyo no Shouzou is probably her best A-side since “Ryuusei no Namida” but that’s more than likely because she didn’t sound as catty as usual…thank god.  Seishun no Mabataki is mostly a nice ballad from Chiaki, but I want an auto-tune-less version of the song…it would do wonders!

 

Chiaki Kuriyama – CIRCUS March 24, 2011

Filed under: CHiAKi KURiYAMA — solarblade @ 3:37 am

Track Listing

  1. Roulette de Kuchizuke wo
  2. Cold Finger Girl
  3. Oishii Kisetsu
  4. Mirai no Hikari
  5. Ketteiteki Sanpunkan
  6. Kuchi ni Shita LOVE
  7. Shinkai
  8. Kanousei Girl
  9. Gokokuhoujou ROCK
  10. Ladies&Gentlemen
  11. New Moon Day

1. Roulette de Kuchizuke wo

I love that this album begins with a bang with Roulette de Kuchizuke wo.  It does solidify in my mind that the album is pretty much full of rock songs for sure.  For the most part the song does its job by giving us an explosive start and Chiaki’s vocals are pretty solid and strong for this song…it might be much, but it’s a good song.

2. Cold Finger Girl

I still find myself thinking that Cold Finger Girl is like too similar to Anna Tsuchiya’s “Atashi” because of its arrangement and kind of mood it brings to the table.  I will say that it’s one of my least favorite songs she released as A-sides because poor Chiaki’s vocals are just all over the place and just was offkey for most of the chorus IMO.  It has lost its sparkle after a while and just seems like messy work now.

3. Oishii Kisetsu

At least she picked herself up after that yell-fest with Oishii Kisetsu if you remember was the primary A-side off the third and final single of the era.  I love when Chiaki opens the song with just her voice and harpischord playing along.  It of course grows into more of something that actually does sound good…despite Shiina Ringo producing the song…I can tell that both could pull this song off…but hmmm.  I still think it’s pretty good…at least most of it…the guitar solo and the godawful shriek was just not in good taste.

4. Mirai no Hikari

Hey, Ujihara from DOES produced our next track?!?  Oh man, this has to be something!  While it’s not too apparant, it feels like a more solid sounding “Cold Finger Girl” since Chiaki’s vocals aren’t all over the place and yet the music is just as rockin’.  It’s a very solid rock song from Chiaki and doesn’t have anything that’s too weird going on…very straightforward!

5. Ketteiteki Sanpunkan

Of the pre-released songs, I really wish she hadn’t put this song on the album (to be honest, she shouldn’t placed “Ryuusei no Namida” here instead!).  I think she should’ve redone this song to be without any of the filters that were present because it seriously annoyed me to no end and it had potential too because the arrangement is kind of groovy and edgy…it’s just how the vocals turned out was just bad!

6. Kuchi ni Shita LOVE

Hey, synths finally!  I must say this rather interesting change in style of music was kind of surprising and yet good for her.  The beats are quite catchy and Chiaki’s vocals also sound a lot more at ease when compared to some of the previous songs.  There’s still traces of guitars like the solo, but most of the song feels so different and quite a trip to listen to.  Odd, coming from two guys from the rock band JET. 

7. Shinkai

Working with Hidehiko from BUCK-TICK (another band I review on the site) for the next song, Shinkai is the slowest song yet on the album with mostly a piano-based arrangement but opens to more of a mid-tempo synth-rock kind of song.  To me, of the new songs I was least impressed with this one since it just didn’t seem right…especially if she was going for a slower song.

8. Kanousei Girl

As the era’s first A-side (because clearly “Ryuusei no Namida” SURELY doesn’t count), Kanousei Girl was a total 180 from the seriousness of her debut.  I love the song’s more peppy feel and it still comes off quite well despite being oddly cute for Chiaki.  The chorus is still a little funky to me since it’s so different from the rest of the song, but I still enjoy it otherwise.

9. Gokokukoujou ROCK

Being the album’s longest song at 6 minutes, I wondered how this was going to turn out since I’ve heard of THEATRE BROOK before and one of the members of the band produced our next new track.  The thing that surprised me the most is that Chiaki’s voice is so much deeper and has so much more presence than before.  It’s really surprising she pulled off a song like this since it’s funky and totally can stand on its own…this should’ve been an A-side!

10. Ladies&Gentlemen

I can’t believe Stephen Jenkins from American rock band, Third Eye Blind was able to produce something for Chiaki ^_^.  I’ll will say that I wasn’t surprised that the song was what I was expecting from him, but maybe a little harder.  Chiaki first sounded bored singing, but the second verse actually put her back up into some sense and she hits some pretty bizarre high notes.  I think it’s catchy, but could be considered messy to others….Iono…

11. New Moon Day

Closing the album, New Moon Day is kind of like a mix of the rock songs that are found on the album and some of the synthy stuff mixed with chanting!  For a closing track, this lacks oomph and energy for some reason and just felt like it was taking too long to get to the end for me.  I guess Chiaki was trying to sing with emotion, but it didn’t help the lackluster arrangement.

Tracks Recommended

  • Kuchi ni Shita LOVE
  • Gokokukoujou ROCK
  • Mirai no Hikari
  • Kanousei Girl

Song of Avoidance

  • New Moon Day

For an artist that started out on such a high note with “Ryuusei no Namida”, Chiaki’s debut album was a bit wishy-washy for the most part.  I loved that she went to tons of different producers for CIRCUS, but there was kind of a slip of either the not-so-interesting arrangements and the vocal issues some of the songs…plus factoring in that her debut didn’t even make the album (but the PV is on the CD+DVD edition here) was just of bad choice.  It’s not too much of a good album…but there were a few songs that were good ^_^

 

Chiaki Kuriyama – Oishii Kisetsu/Ketteiteki Sanpunkan March 2, 2011

Filed under: CHiAKi KURiYAMA — solarblade @ 9:21 am

Track Listing

  1. Oishii Kisetsu
  2. Ketteiteki Sanpunkan
  3. CAT’S EYE

1. Oishii Kisetsu

I really don’t know why, but Chiaki opening the song with harpischord sounds so pleasant for some reason.  While it’s the slowest A-side she’s done since “Ryuusei no Namida”, I kind of like the feeling of this song since it sounds so relaxed and not forced like the cuteness of “Kanousei Girl” and whatever it was for “Cold Finger Girl”.  I think it’s pretty good of a song actually and makes me curious for the album even more.

2. Ketteiteki Sanpunkan

Though on the flip side of the coin I’m not real thrilled with Ketteiteki Sanpunkan being on “CIRCUS” nor liking the fact it was an A-side.  I thought it was good with the plucked strings opening, but there’s something that just isn’t kosher within this song.  I mean Chiaki’s vocals have filters on it and she’s trying to be sexy…she could’ve pulled it off without it TBH.  Let’s not forget though that the song was produced by Shiina Ringo and it shows with this track…*shakes head* not good…”Oishii Kisetsu” was way better!

3. CAT’S EYE

The last time I reviewed a cover of ANRI’s epic track, MAX covered it and it was very dancey and quite awesome for sure.  Chiaki’s is definitely more rock-oriented but once again she’s under filters and the music overpowers her most of the time which is so disappointing, but she sounded quite nice…well the second verse is a mess…but it’s still an alright cover but MAX did it better.

Closing out the “CIRCUS” era, Oishii Kisetsu/Ketteiteki Sanpunkan was alright just like the previous two singles.  I loved Oishii Kisetsu for it’s stable sound and catchy chorus and arrangement.  However Shiina really took Ketteiteki Sanpunkan and CAT’S EYE and kind of slipped on it by giving Chiaki filters…Also, WTF at no “Ryuusei no Namida” on the album….that’s her best song ever!!!

 

Chiaki Kuriyama – Cold Finger Girl February 3, 2011

Filed under: CHiAKi KURiYAMA — solarblade @ 2:20 pm

Track Listing

  1. Cold Finger Girl
  2. Getsumen Nanchakuriku
  3. Cold Finger Girl (Instrumental)
  4. Cold Finger Girl (Level E Opening ver.)

1. Cold Finger Girl

I will be upfront about this, when I first listened to CFG, I immediately thought of Anna Tsuchiya’s “Atashi” because the arrangement has the similar groove going for it and is like freeform rock.  I will admit as well that Chiaki’s performance on the song was a little surprising since her vocals were more gritty and angsty when compared to her last two singles.  It’s actually not too bad of a song though the chorus can become a little much since she goes overboard on her sound.  Still not a bad A-side.

2. Getsumen Nanchakuriku

For the fellow B-side of the single, I was expecting something different since the title has a space-like meaning to it and all.  I still think it doesn’t fare as well as previous B-sides, but I can see why she kind of went to something that’s similar to that “Kekkei IN MY BED”.  While I didn’t think the tone of her vocals matched the arrangement real well, she was consistent and kept making the song interesting through the choruses.  It actually might grow on me in time.

As the second of three singles being produced by rock artists/producers, Cold Finger Girl might have been a slight slip up after “Kanousei Girl”.  It could be from that both songs didn’t exactly pop out at me and had faults through both.  Since Chiaki’s next single and last before “CIRCUS” is produced by none other than Shiina Ringo…I’m curious to see whether the era will end on a good note.

 

Chiaki Kuriyama – Kanousei Girl November 16, 2010

Filed under: CHiAKi KURiYAMA — solarblade @ 6:15 pm

Track Listing

  1. Kanousei Girl
  2. Ai ni Katachi ga Nai no Nara Doushite Kowaretari Suru no
  3. Kanousei Girl (Instrumental)
  4. Kanousei Girl (Gintama Opening ver.)

1. Kanousei Girl

Kanousei Girl, what could be said about it XD.  After “Ryuusei no Namida”, I wasn’t sure what direction she was going to take but after listening to the song, I was actually happy she went into a more pop/rockish sound and I actually enjoy this song since it’s quirky, fun and Chiaki sounds good with the arrangement.  It’s not as epic as her debut, but this is definitely a good follow-up.

2. Ai to Katachi ga Nai no Nara Doshite Kowaretari Suru no

As for the B-side, Ai to Katachi… is a bit more slower but still faster than her debut.  I like the fact that there’s strings added into the song to give it some perk, but it’s nice to see something mid-tempo from Chiaki and it gives her more room to show off her vocals and for the most part she continues to sound nice.  Girl can sing 😄

Since it’s her second single and first under her name in kanji, Kanousei Girl is a bit more of a way for the fans to expect from her since her debut was more like was she going to be a balladeer or a rock star and with this single she’s leaning way more towards a pop/rock star.  Kanousei Girl is fun and even watching the PV made me feel happy haha.  Ai to Katachi… is pretty good for her vocals and the song wasn’t totally bad.  Even better was that she announced that in 2011 she is going to focus on her musical carrer and I can’t wait for more music from her!