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Chihiro Onitsuka – The Silence is Mine/Anata to SciencE February 13, 2014

Filed under: Chihiro Onitsuka — solarblade @ 3:34 pm

thesilenceismine

Track Listing

  1. The Silence is Mine
  2. Anata to SciencE

1. The Silence is Mine

A song tied to the Drakengard games huh?  Means it should be pretty awesome right?  The song kind of sounds like it would’ve been more tied to Tsukiko Amano is it has a certain creepy atmosphere out it musically.  Chihiro’s vocals though kind of take me out of the song as they sound VERY scratchy and off and kind of makes the song sound so weird to listen to.  Also the song is almost 7 minutes, but the song grows and has good flow to it as it ebbs and flows between areas…but Chihiro…throat lozenge please!

2. Anata to SciencE

As a collaboration with BILLYS SANDWITCHES (who?), the other A-side is a bit more shorter at a more easier to handle length.  It’s a bit more lighthearted and has a certain 80’s pop feel to it which is nice and funny enough Chihiro sounds slightly better (but that’s because she’s got some auto-tune thrown on her).  It’s just an odd song to listen to and really didn’t feel like a Chihiro song XD.

 

 

Released simultaneously with her best album, this single was a bit WTF and didn’t seem to step up much after her last single, “Itazura Pierrot”.  I think Chihiro’s vocals are at an all time low here and it really held me back from enjoying The Silence is Mine as it’s just so gritty and offputting and very long of a song.  Anata to SciencE was a good trying at showing a more upbeat and happy side of Chihiro, but the auto-tune and the overall tone didn’t feel like her…it was almost plastic to listen to…damn what happened?

 

Chihiro Onitsuka – Itazura Pierrot January 3, 2014

Filed under: Chihiro Onitsuka — solarblade @ 11:29 am

itazurapierrot

Track Listing

  1. Itazura Pierrot
  2. Who Will Save Your Soul
  3. Itazura Pierrot (Backing Track)

1. Itazura Pierrot

It’s been a while since we’ve heard Chihiro and she pulls out a random indies single during 2013 and Itazura Pierrot at first kind of had a circus-y feel to it, but once the track begins, it sounds more like a Country song which might toss some people to the side while they turn their heads.  It’s weird her vocals have been up and down since her surgery and for Itazura Pierrot it’s kind on the lower end of the spectrum.  The song does kind of suit her more huskier voice, but she has moments where her voice breaks in lines and it doesn’t seem like it’s a technical idea.  So it’s a bit random of a song and since it’s indies, I kind of was disappointed in the song.

2. Who Will Save You Soul

The B-side for the single is a cover of the big Jewel song that we all knew and love in the 90s.  Of course we just came from Onitsuka’s cover album, “FAMOUS MICROPHONE” and to hear another cover made me kind of worried.  Kind of more acoustic, I was kind of here nor there because Chihiro’s English is REALLY accented and her voice kind of just doesn’t work and Chihiro doesn’t even try to hit the notes Jewel could so the song sounds really different.  Yeah, not impressed.

 

 

I just couldn’t with this single, something about this single just screamed pushed and kind of fail here.  Itazura Pierrot is the better song, but compared to songs that were from “Ken to Kaede” this really paled on a lot of levels.  Her Jewel cover…yeah let’s just act like it never happened.  Yeah, not a great single.

 

Chihiro Onitsuka – Ken to Kaede April 22, 2011

Filed under: Chihiro Onitsuka — solarblade @ 5:29 am

Track Listing

  1. Aoi Tori
  2. Yume Kamo Shirenai
  3. EVER AFTER
  4. IRIS
  5. Boku wo Wasurenaide
  6. An Fhideag Airgid
  7. SUNNY ROSE
  8. NEW AGE STRANGER
  9. CANDY GIRL
  10. Tsumi to Muko Gin no Maku
  11. WANNA BE A HAPPY WARRIOR
  12. Kohaku no Yuki

1. Aoi Tori

Ahhh, it’s nice to see than Chihiro is opening the album with the lone A-side that was released two weeks ago…It hasn’t really changed my opinion on it and that’s a good thing since it still feels so refreshing and different from anything Chihiro has released previous.  I liked that she went folk for this song and being the opening track, one can wonder where Chihiro was going next.  Her vocals were the best part of the song since they kind of sounded different from A-sides from before.

2. Yume Kamo Shirenai

If you’re into Onii-chan when she was doing her more regular-styled songs in her early days, Yume Kamo Shirenai is for the people that liked her when she did “Insomnia”.  To me, it does seem a little bit much like her older songs…but I kind of enjoy it with the arrangement and random Engrish.  Not as vibrant as “Aoi Tori” was but it’s still good.

3. EVER AFTER

I know Chihiro doesn’t do too many happy songs so EVER AFTER is a nice surprise since it kind of features the same instruments used in “Yume Kamo Shirenai”, but given a lighter atmosphere and faster tempo.  Chihiro’s brighter vocals also impressed me here as she gave a pretty strong performance altogether.  I find this to be already one of the album’s gems.

4. IRIS

Slowing down again, IRIS is another one of those songs that really sound like something that would’ve easily come off of “Insomnia” since it’s kind of a basic track with a mostly acoustic feel.  It isn’t too bad and the mood is kind of laidback compared to the last song so this is pretty good. 

5. Boku wo Wasurenaide

Oh hey, we get strings and piano to open our next song?  While there were no epic ballads heard through the era, we still get a great ballad with Boku wo Wasurenaide which isn’t a heartbreaking one like “Kaerimichi wo Nakushite”.  It’s kind of positive in its chords and such and during some parts has cute parts strewn throughout.  It’s actually pretty amazing has a great waltz-like atmosphere to it to give it a bit more life.

6. An Fhideag Airgid

Interestingly enough, Chihiro actually throws in a giant wrench by actually covering a Scottish-Gaelic tune.  It’s kind of like Chihiro trying to channel KOKIA for a song and it might come off as a little weird to people since she’s in a different language.  I do love the the kind of sad arrangement mixed with the wooden flute to give it a rather interesting sound.  It’s bizarre and I wish I knew wtf Chihiro was singing, but this was pretty good!

7. SUNNY ROSE

I guess to tie-in the whole Gaelic-style of music that’s going on, SUNNY ROSE isn’t much of a surprise coming after “An Fhideag Airgil”.  The biggest change is the tempo and mood which is pretty cool and the fact that Onii-chan is singing in English is tempting to listen to, but she has a hard time pronouncing and saying things clearly so it feels more like random gibberish half the time.  It’s still one of the stronger melodies the album has, but lyrically…what was going on?

8. NEW AGE STRANGER

After hearing the acoustic version that was on “Aoi Tori”, I was curious to what the original would sound like and oddly enough it’s one of the more sillier songs since it took out the serious sound and threw in a summery atmosphere and some vocal filters to give the song even more of a reason to stand out.  I thought this was an interesting change, but the filters bothered me quite a bit since it warped her to some weird notes.  It’s a bit odd on the album, but not as odd as “SUNNY ROSE”.

9. CANDY GIRL

I’m all for Onii-chan trying new things with her style (which I admit is changing pretty quickly).  CANDY GIRL is a mixture of synths and her light pop/rock style and in ways it works since it’s upbeat and lively with Chihiro’s vocals (which once again sounds so different than before).  Think “EVER AFTER” but slightly more cuter and we get this song.

10. Tsumi to Muko Gin no Maku

I’m not sure what to think of our next song here.  It’s another one of those happier ballads that have kept appearing throughout the album so far and I kind of like it because it does have quite a cute flow to it, but it’s also not too demanding on what it’s trying to get at music-wise.  I still don’t know why I get such “BACK DOOR” vibes from this song personally, but whatever it’s not too poor but maybe a little forgettable.

11. WANNA BE A HAPPY WARRIOR

I always find myself lulzing when J-pop artists decide to cuss in English and Onii-chan finds herself doing that here in our next song which is oddly enough all English once again.  She sounds slightly better and clearer here, but she still can’t pronounce very well and there’s places were it sounds like mumbling.  I kind of wished that by the title it was going towards sounding like “DOROTHY’s” “A WHITE WHALE IN MY QUIET DREAM”…but this kind of felt underwhelming altogether.

12. Kohaku no Yuki

As the album’s final track, Kohaku no Yuki sounds like that ballad we needed.  It’s pretty simple as ballads go and since most of the time, she aces these songs.  It does kind of move a bit too slow, but Chihiro’s powerful performance did save the song from becoming purely boring at 6+ minutes.  I wish it built more for a stronger climax like “Kaerimichi wo Nakushite” did, but this’ll do.

Tracks Recommended

  • EVER AFTER
  • Boku wo Wasurenaide
  • Aoi Tori
  • An Fhideag Airgid

Song of Avoidance

  • WANNA BE A HAPPY WARRIOR

Another switch between labels…damn Onii-chan can you stick with one label for more than one album?  To me, Ken to Kaede gave me dejavu moments to both “Insomnia” (her debut album) and “DOROTHY” (her previous album).  It shows some of what her debut was about with the whole light pop/rock and ballads while showing the crazy amount of experimentation “DOROTHY” had.  Add in the Gaelic and Folk tunes and it’s even more wild…also I’ve noticed Chihiro sounds slightly different…I wonder if it’s better vocal training or her incident that caused it…but it might throw off some people.  As for my opinion, I think it’s a pretty good album, not as good as “DOROTHY”, but it’s still a strong enough release…NOW SIT CHIHIRO…STAY….!

 

Chihiro Onitsuka – Aoi Tori April 12, 2011

Filed under: Chihiro Onitsuka — solarblade @ 3:11 am

Track Listing

  1. Aoi Tori
  2. NEW AGE STRANGER (MAD・EYE・MOODY VERSION)

1. Aoi Tori

As the only A-side for this quite short era, Aoi Tori is actually an interesting song since it has this sort of dark and folkish groove to it that sounds rather refreshing from Onii-chan.  Chihiro’s vocals actually sound a lot more interesting and has more emotion than she did in “Kagerou” which was her last A-side.  It’s pretty and she moves gracefully through the song…I will say her voice does sound slightly different…could her incident have something to do with it?

2. NEW AGE STRANGER (MAD・EYE・MOODY VERSION)

I really don’t know what’s with the Harry Potter reference in the title, but whatever, kind of like “Kaerimichi wo Nakushite” we get a stripped version of a song (acoustic-based).  At 6 minutes in length, NEW AGE STRANGER is Chihiro’s second attempt at English and well, she’s doing much better than she did in “I Pass By” since the song is kind of upbeat and happy…but the girl is kind of all over the place and it’s lulzy to listen to.  Her voice though sounds really different here…like it’s someone else…freaky song…I wonder what the album version will be like.

Since next week is the album release, Aoi Tori was a nice tease of a single to hold us for seven days.  The folk atmosphere out of the A-side was a nice change from the ballads and Chihiro has never sounded better.  NEW AGE STRANGER’s acoustic version is definitely not on the normal side of things…and it’s kind of sloppy, but I’m sure that’ll be fixed on “Ken to Kaede”.

 

Chihiro Onitsuka – This Armor September 28, 2010

Filed under: Chihiro Onitsuka — solarblade @ 2:53 am

Track Listing

  1. ROLLIN’
  2. Ibara no Umi
  3. Shadow
  4. everything, in my hands
  5. Our Song
  6. Ryuuseigun
  7. LITTLE BEAT RIFLE (album ver.)
  8. Arrow of Pain
  9. infection
  10. CROW

1. ROLLIN’

I mean I’m alright with Chihiro beginning her second album with a soft pop tune with ROLLIN’ and all, but I was expecing it to be a little more exciting as he album’s first song.  Chihiro’s vocals of course sound great and even though this song for me sounds a lot like some of the stuff on “Insomnia”, it wasn’t exactly a bad song for me. 

2. Ibara no Umi

I can tell that this album has a little more synth involvement this time especailly with how our next song began.  Then again it get covered up by the main instruments of the song and Chihiro’s soft sounding vocals.  I thought this is a great ballad for Chihiro since it isn’t a boring ballad and has some personality to it.  It’s just a very pleasant song to listen to and the piccolo solo is random but nice in the interlude of the song.  Very nice and still shows that Chihiro is a great balladeer.

3. Shadow

I guess it does worry me now that Shadow (also a ballad) comes right after “Ibara no Umi”.  However, Shadow is more of the depressing and darker ballad because while it has the same instruments sans piccolo, it’s got a longing feeling and with the string bass getting some small parts, it’s like really different.  I also think Chihiro is slightly singing it differently from her normal style, but I loved this change.  Another good ballad ^_^

4. everything, in my hands

Escaping the ballad area of the album, everything, in my hands is a pleasant change of styles from dark and depressing to light and feel-good.  I have to admit that I think it’s her most upbeat song she has had so far in her career and it’s kind of funny since I don’t expect this from her.  It still sounds like the same instruments used in “Insomnia” but I think it’s done professionally and worked for me.  However, it does kind of become white noise after a while since the melody doesn’t fully move around like other songs…it’s just a very straightforward kind of song.

5. Our Song

I guess we just needed one upbeat song huh?  Our Song brings us back down to a ballad state and Our Song is actually Chihiro’s English track on the album.  I know she doesn’t pronounce things nicely, but for the most part, it’s understandable.  Also it’s got the simplest arrangement consisting of piano and acoustic guitar and it has a slight touch of country…It’s a bit too lullaby-like for me so it kind of puts me to sleep, but it’s not bad either.

6. Ryuuseigun

I know that I said that Ryuuseigun wasn’t really much of a memorable ballad coming after the first single of the era, but on the album it’s even more forgettable for me since there’s way better ballads.  I mean there’s not much for me to really pay attention since it’s like a few other ballads she’s done.  At least I really enjoyed the chorus since it brought her voice to the forefront.  I’m not sure, but otherwise the song just flies over my head.

7. LITTLE BEAT RIFLE (album ver.)

As the only A-side to have been edited…LITTLE BEAT RIFLE like “BACK DOOR” shouldn’t have been touched at all because the new version stripped away everything that was good about the original and left us with a bare piano version of the song.  I do like that Chihiro resang the song and all, but to me it’s one of those songs that’s missing something.  Even then…hi gospel-like lyrics!

8. Arrow of Pain

Wow that’s odd to see Arrow of Pain being included on the album, even though there’s a reason.  It seems that a later released song was supposed to be released, but Arrow of Pain replaced that song because the other song in question, “A Horse and A Queen” didn’t fit the theme of the album it seems.  If you remember this song is from “Gekkou” as a B-side and it’s just unusual to see a B-side make an album that wasn’t in the same era.  Now at this point of the album, I’m starting to really feel the effects of sleep popping up since it’s been ballad after ballad…it’s just so hard to keep paying attention if Chihiro’s ballads are trying to put that feeling into ya…at least it has a bit of synthplay in it like “Ibara no Umi” so it’s not as boring, but it still is at the end of the day.  It sill is best heard by itself and is still one of Chihiro’s better B-sides.

9. infection

If “Gekkou” is too “Insomnia”, then infection is to This Armor.  Both songs are very emotionally driven ballads and pretty popular songs in their own right.  infection might be more simpler but it sure hits hard and Chihiro’s vocals are just perfect for this song.  Though being after “Arrow of Pain” it just seems this came to really wake me up and it did…I love the song more than “Gekkou” to be honest.

10. CROW

I guess to make things end on a lighter note, CROW switches the sad and melancholic mood from “infection” and made it slightly lighter and hopeful.  Once again, I don’t remember the song much because I’m like really tired at this point of the album so I just kind of zone the song out.  I think it should’ve been more closer to “ROLLIN’ and “everything, in my hands” those kind of had a happier touch to em right? XD

Tracks Recommended

  • infection
  • Shadow
  • Arrow of Pain
  • Ibara no Umi
  • everything, in my hands

Song of Avoidance

  • LITTLE BEAT RIFLE (album ver.)

Since Chihiro released This Armor and “Sugar High” in the same year, it leaves me wondering what happens since there’s no single in between the albums.  Anyways, This Armor would’ve been great if there wasn’t so many ballads clumped up to each and just leaving us with two upbeat songs (ROLLIN’ and everything, in my hands).  Good thing was this album probably has Chihiro’s best ballads so that saves this album from being amazingly boring.  I guess it is slightly better than “Insomnia” but there’s just too many ballads for me to handle x.x

 

Chihiro Onitsuka – Ryuuseigun May 2, 2010

Filed under: Chihiro Onitsuka — solarblade @ 6:24 am

Track Listing

  1. Ryuuseigun
  2. Fly to me
  3. Ryuuseigun (Inst.)

1. Ryuuseigun

For the stuff I’ve listened to before from Chihiro, Ryuuseigun at least makes things better since the first era was filled with a bit too many bland ballads.  While it doesn’t provide any real new things that we haven’t heard from the “INSOMNIA” era, it’s a nice piano/strings ballad.  Not bad, but not really amazing like “infection” was.

2. Fly to me

The B-side is also a ballad, but more along the lines of an acoustic one.  I kind of like the night feel this song brings and Chihiro’s vocals are a bit softer as well.  Then again I can’t defend some of Chihiro’s pronunciation in the English lingo.  I do enjoy it though and somehow makes me feel like this was the better song off the single. 

 

 

Chihiro’s 2nd for the “This Armor” era was just a little bit meh compared to “infection/LITTLE BEAT RIFLE”.  I found it hard to remember what Ryuuseigun sounds like and even then it’s B-side ended up being the better song even though it has its own share of problems.

 

Chihiro Onitsuka – DOROTHY October 28, 2009

Filed under: Chihiro Onitsuka — solarblade @ 3:02 am

dorothy

Track Listing

  1. A WHITE WHALE IN MY QUIET DREAM
  2. Kagerou
  3. X
  4. Storyteller
  5. STEAL THIS HEART
  6. I Pass By
  7. Kaerimichi wo Nakushite
  8. Losing a distance
  9. Last Melody
  10. Hotaru
  11. VENUS

1. A WHITE WHALE IN MY QUIET DREAM

I love the tribal opening to this album.  It seems like one of those Native American chants or at least the closest I could compare it to.  The only thing accompanying Chihiro is a pounding drum that has this punch.  Chihiro’s English is pretty hard to understand at intervals of the song, but it’s like a poem and has a nice meaning to it.  I was impressed with this opening actually.

2. Kagerou

As the last A-side released in the era, Kagerou was probably my least favorite for some reason.  I mean it’s a bit like a few other tracks on the album to begin with and it also sounds like a bit of her “INSOMNIA” works that weren’t ballads.  Not to say it’s not horrible or anything because I like the relaxed nature and Chihiro’s vocals are also really nice to listen to.  Still not the best of the era (even I thought “Ai no Serifu” would’ve been a better choice as an A-side.)

3. X

Ahhh, X…It’s Chihiro’s angry tune and I was so damn happy to see her get out of her comfort zone with this track.  At first, it does seem like another sad ballad, but right as you cement the idea, the angry guitar riffs pop up and Chihiro’s vocals get stronger and gain that angst that I enjoyed.  It’s rather one of the odd tracks off the album, but still one of her strongest A-sides in a while.

4. Storyteller

I’m not sure what’s with the flow of the album entirely, but Storyteller is a little bit folkish and also a little bit pop as well.  I love the harmonica solos in the song and I’m noticing that Chihiro is sounding a whole lot fuller here than she was in “X”.  Though the way she says ~storyteller~ is too cute for words hahaha.  This is by far my favorite new track off the album.

5. STEAL THIS HEART

The album’s promotional song, STEAL THIS HEART would be the album’s ultimate weird song.  There’s a whole lot more synth featured in the song and Chihiro is filtered in the song like crazy.  People have complained this song is like the crap that Tommy Heavenly6 did with her last album release…I honestly don’t see the comparison because Chihiro is way into it and her vocals are different to the other songs and it sounds quite refreshing to hear, especially with how Chihiro does songs for her albums.

6. I Pass By

Well, this is a new version of the craptastic track from “Kaerimichi wo Nakushite”.  The Darksmoke Version was basically an acoustic version of the album track we have here.  Instead of acoustic guitar, we get a more broader sound and oddly enough it sounds like a country song.  I’m still not liking the fact I can’t understand what the hell she’s saying since it’s all English.  At least the energy is good and the chorus is so much more catchy.

7. Kaerimichi wo Nakushite

I’m not sure why Kaerimichi wo Nakushite had an extended strings opening on the album, but one the familiar opening comes in we get back into one of Chihiro’s strongest ballads since recent.  I love how the entire song builds itself upon the volume of the strings and Chihiro getting more profound and stronger.  Once it does hit its highest point, it’s just amazing sung and I was stunned by the sheer awesomeness of the person who produced this.  AMAZING BALLAD.

8. Losing a distance

I’m guessing we’re getting into the ballads of the album because Losing a distance is also a ballad.  I’m actually enjoying the piano lines in the song and while it’s not as epic as “Kaerimichi wo Nakushite” it’s got its own thing going on in the song and Chihiro’s calmer vocals make the song flow nicely.  It’s a bit forgetful on the album, but alone it’s a nice track.

9. Last Melody

I’m not why, but Last Melody never really crossed my mind as a song that I’d fully enjoy.  Then again since it’s a bit like later released “Kagerou” it’s quite difficult to really not bag on both of them because of their similarities.  Obviously, there’s differences, but I just can’t help but compare the two like crazy…So I guess it’s not too good for me.

10. Hotaru

Being the oldest A-side on the album (released last year in early August), Hotaru fits in this quite snuggly.  Then again it is in the middle of the ballad section of the album.  I do love how it’s different from the previous ballads because of its lullaby-like arrangement.  Chihiro’s vocals are soft and with the piano backing her up for most of the song.  It’s the most basic ballad, but it’s nice either way.

11. VENUS

Ending the album is a whopper of a track.  VENUS is shockingly over 7 minutes of balladness.  That being said, you know I was moaning and not really wanting to spend time listening to this long song, but honestly it’s like VENUS is wondrous a interesting altogether.  It makes the fantasy-like picture in my head and oddly feels like it’s pertaining to the cover because it’s like when she walked through the door she just sung what she say and/or felt and I loved it.  I think giving it the award of longest track was a smart idea.  One of the best on the album.

Tracks Recommended

  • Kaerimichi wo Nakushite
  • VENUS
  • STEAL THIS HEART
  • Storyteller
  • X

Song of Avoidance

  • Losing a distance

Seriously, I think DOROTHY is Chihiro’s most vivid album she’s released ever since her debut.  There was a lot of different styles played around on the album, but as a whole you could tell the album was split between her more energetic songs and heartwarming/wrenching ballads.  There were a few songs that kind of lacked the more refreshing sounds.  To be honest this is Chihiro’s best album.