Kurayami Monogatari

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fripSide – Decade December 6, 2012

Filed under: fripSide — solarblade @ 8:17 am

decadefrip

Track Listing

  1. Decade
  2. way to answer
  3. fortissimo -the ultimate crisis-
  4. come to mind (version3)
  5. Heaven is a Place on Earth
  6. fortissino -from insanity affection-
  7. grievous distance
  8. whitebird
  9. a silent voice
  10. message (version2)
  11. re:ceptivity
  12. infinite orbit
  13. endless memory ~refrain as Da Capo~

1. Decade

I’m surprised fripSide decided to open the album up with the longest track at over 7 minutes.  Though as I’ve learned through some researching, this song is a duet between Yoshino and nao (the previous lead singer for fripSide).  That excited me a lot to hear both in one song!  I’m a little surprised at how similar both vocalists are to each other x.x.  You can tell them apart, but you have to try hard!  I think this song also had a pretty catchy chorus as well.  I do enjoy the song, but it is a tad bit long but it definitely kicked the album off on a real good note!

2. way to answer

Moving onto the singles, way to answer was the second and final single released before the album and the intro with Yoshino reminds me of well some of “Decade”.  At the same time, this song was definitely such an upgrade after how bored I was of “infinite synthesis” and the single after was so hearing guitars and an edgier approach was such a breath of fresh air!  It’s definitely one of the album’s shiners even though we’ve known it for a while!

3. fortissimo -the ultimate crisis-

Wait? What is the B-side from “future gazer” doing on THIS album?  It’s a bit strange but seeing as I loved this song on the single and was clearly sour it was passed up on the previous album, it’s a welcomed addition to Decade.  I do think nowadays it sounds more like something that should’ve been on “infinite synthesis”, but then I’m like…the album was boring as it is…no point in adding salt to the wound LOL.

4. come to mind (version3)

So the album also includes some self-covers (though it’s Yoshino covering it instead of nao).  come to mind is originally from fripSide’s first album, “1st odyssey of fripSide”.  Now I have never heard the original from nao but Yoshino’s take isn’t a bad track because it has a totally different feel then their previous efforts and I love sat’s arrangement and it really has a certain nostalgic feel (plus Yoshino sounds surprisingly well!).  I’d say this is a good cover, but I’m not sure how older fans feel….

5. Heaven is a Place on Earth

Moving to the era’s first A-side, Heaven is a Place on Earth is kind of forgettable on the album since it doesn’t have the same punch as many of the songs here do.  I did say that after the last album, this song was a small nudge up, but I also feel like it’s not anything special either.

6. fortissimo -from insanity affection-

Wait?  Another fortissimo on the album?  Well it seems like it doesn’t take too much from the other fortissimo much so this stands on its own and isn’t just a mere clone.  Though it’s about as exciting as it because it’s not as edgy but it also reminds me of “only my railgun” which is pretty much the standard for me.  Though when it goes in its mid-8 section and it’s a whole lot better…I wished it was a bit more stronger like how that section was…

7. grievous distance

Then we get into new songs that we haven’t heard of with grievous distance.  I like how immediate we get into the song with Yoshino singing the chorus (which is a bit lifeless).  We’re back to the whole typical sat production but with more guitars, like “way to answer” but the song isn’t very exciting.

8. whitebird

I kind of guessed that whitebird would be the album’s ballad and I was quite correct since it’s really Yoshino and a really light piano arrangement.  After all the synths and guitars, it’s a really nice song to calm things down (if only for a little bit).  I really like Yoshino’s vocals in the song and the song does grow into a mid-tempo track with added percussion. 

9. a silent voice

I liked how a silent voice came after “whitebird” because this has the same thing going but less ballady and more like a cutesy pop song with Yoshino singing in a higher pitch before the verses lower her down a bit.  It’s definitely the happiest song I’ve heard from fripSide since I’ve started reviewing them and I quite like the song ^_^

10. message (version2)

So we move back down to a ballad with the second self-cover, this one from “2nd fragment of fripSide” and it’s kind of surprising since this could’ve worked before “whitebird”.  I don’t know though, message isn’t really that great or memorable of a song to me. 

11. re:ceptivity

I was pleasantly surprised to see that nao had managed to get herself a song on this album and for good reason!  This song picks us up after the softer track and brings us back to more synth-heavy stuff.  At first, I didn’t notice this was nao because her voice here sounds a lot like Yoshino’s voice!  It has a bit more oomph than many of the other upbeat songs on here, but nao doesn’t sound all that enthusiastic.  Though it’s not a bad song and this will probably grow on me quickly.

12. infinite orbit

Yoshino returns for infinite orbit and it’s a lot like the previous track which is no surprise there!  She also suffers from the boring tone in her voice but I think my favorite thing about the song is the arrangement because it mixes guitars. piano. and sytnhs for a pleasant experience…though it’s ranked equally side to side with “re:ceptivity”.

13. endless memory ~refrain as Da Capo~

Ending the album, endless memory comes in and I thought we were dealing with a ballad which would’ve been nice, but we ended up with a mid-tempo track that really felt like “infinite synthesis” since it really didn’t stand out to me and Yoshino wasn’t as good vocally as she usually is.  Kind of a blah way to end the album.

Tracks Recommended

  • way to answer
  • a silent voice
  • Decade
  • whitebird
  • fortissimo -the ultimate crisis-

Song of Avoidance

  • message (version2)

As this is fripSide’s second album with Yoshino, I have to say this is a good step above what I thought of “infinite synthesis”.  There was just a lot more variety of arrangements here and that was the biggest problem with the previous album.  They sort of fixed it by throwing songs like whitebird and a silient voice, but still had some weak links to the album.  Also it was really nice to see nao again and maybe she can do more in the future like what she did here!

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fripSide – way to answer December 11, 2011

Filed under: fripSide — solarblade @ 8:01 am

Track Listing

  1. way to answer
  2. last fortune
  3. way to answer -instrumental-
  4. last fortune -instrumental-

1. way to answer

Pretty awesome that way to answer actually tries to sound relatively different from previous fripSide A-sides.  Instead of the usual synth barrage we get from the group, way to answer replaces it with electric guitars and pounding drums.  Yoshino doesn’t sound very filtered like she usually does which is great to me.  I’m happy that they finally got themselves out of the rut for sure.  It’s definitely their best A-side since their first major single “only my railgun”.

2. lost fortune

It’s not surprising that the B-side of the single is a bit more of what I know of the duo.  sat’s obvious production is blatant and sounds a lot like everything they’ve done that I’ve heard.  I will say that Yoshino’s vocals sound actually good here and much better than I remembered in “Heaven is a Place on Earth”. 

 

 

I have to say way to answer is a lot better single than their last one for sure.  The A-side is what I’ve been waiting for for such a long time from the duo and it’s a different arrangement that isn’t synth-based.  Congrats on that.  It didn’t last long though because last fortune was more of the same.  At least they’re moving in a good direction, let’s hope they don’t slump on their next release.

 

fripSide – Heaven is a Place on Earth August 24, 2011

Filed under: fripSide — solarblade @ 7:01 am

Track Listing

  1. Heaven is a Place on Earth
  2. The end of summer
  3. Heaven is a Place on Earth -instrumental-
  4. The end of summer -instrumental-

1. Heaven is a Place on Earth

I really was tricked on this song for sure.  At first I thought the song was a change of directions for the duo which plagued the “infinite synthesis” era with sameish arrangements.  I mean the beginning was slow and his piano and Yoshino singing along which was great for sure…then it kind of switches into the synth-rock-dance mix that they’ve been using for a LONG time.  I will say that I like that Yoshino doesn’t squeak as much and she sounds like she has better control too.  It’s not a major change as I hoped it would’ve happened but it’s a solid song.

2. The end of summer

Since winter and autumn are represented already on previous releases, I guess it’s time for the summer-themed tune from the group.  Since they’re stuck in a rut with their music it’s not surprising that I didn’t find myself totally enjoying the song.  I will say that Yoshino’s vocals in the verses and the prominence of piano was just a nice combination and I love how relaxed she is through the song, but the dance beats and synths need to go!

 

 

Ahh, it’s been almost a year (well minus two months) since fripSide released their first album together hasn’t it?  I’m gonna say they should move away from their synth-anison style because it just is nowadays feeling bland and I’m honestly getting tired of sat reusing the same beats and synths over and over…I wouldn’t mind something with natural instruments here!

 

fripSide – infinite synthesis December 2, 2010

Filed under: fripSide — solarblade @ 6:42 am

Track Listing

  1. only my railgun
  2. LEVEL5 -judgelight-
  3. everlasting
  4. late in autumn
  5. future gazer
  6. Kanashii Seiza
  7. crossing over
  8. closest love
  9. meditations
  10. trusty snow
  11. lost answer
  12. eternal pain
  13. stay with you

1. only my railgun

Starting the album with the the debut A-side of fripSide with new singer Yoshino Nanjo, only my railgun is definitely one of the better debut songs I’ve heard.  I also think it makes for an amazing introduction to the album since it prepares you for what you’re about to hear.  I know I was unsure of the song when I first reviewed it, but since then it’s became my favorite song from the duo.  Even the PV was just as memorable…one of my favorites from 2009.  I still think the electro sound mixed in with Yoshino’s thin and high pitched voice worked.  Awesome song!

2. LEVEL5 -judgelight-

Being the second A-side released in the era, LEVEL5 -judgelight- does bring out some differences that I can tell a bit much more easier than when I reviewed the single.  Yoshino’s vocals have gotten a bit deeper for the song and the arrangement does focus a tad more on the guitars than the synths (even though they’re still there).  It’s alright, but it doesn’t exceed “only my railgun” at all.

3. everlasting

As the album’s promotional song, everlasting is probably the first time where I’ve heard something a little different going on (thank god).  I finally hear some natural instruments like acoustic guitar and piano being used in the arrangement and it finally breaks the curse of fripSide for one song.  For a ballad it’s alright, but sometimes I think Yoshino’s vocals are a bit too squeaky for such an arrangement, but for the most part it’s listenable.

4. late in autumn

As the only B-side on the album (from “only my railgun”), late in autumn was a pretty good choice from the two other B-sides released in the era.  I still think it sounds a bit like a GND song and it lasts as long as them for sure.  Even Yoshino sounds a tad like CHISA in some parts of the song and it kind of bothers me.  I guess they could’ve replaced this with “fortissimo -the ultimate crisis-” and I’d be fine.

5. future gazer

Being the 4th single released in the era, I was surprised in some ways to see future gazer make the album and I don’t why I was to begin with.  I do kind of still feel bored of this song because it sounds just like the previous three songs mixed together and I’ve kind of drifted away from enjoying the group because of the likeness to those songs before.  I guess the positive thing here though is that the chorus is pretty catchy and the guitar solo in the middle of the song is impressive as well.  Still, I just can’t get the idea of it sounding like 90% of their previous songs in the era.

6. Kanashii Seiza

As the only song written in kanji on the album (LULZ), Kanashii Seiza is another ballad from the duo and unfortunately this was not what I wanted to hear.  Besides the interesting synths, and the moving strings in the arrangement, the song just a slower version of “LEVEL5 -judgelight-” and it was boring to listen to.  Sorry, but moving on.

7. crossing over

I was wondering where they were keeping their more energetic stuff and I was hoping to get something like “only my railgun”.  While crossing over isn’t as hard as said song, the beat of the song is there and Yoshino’s singing is quite nice to listen to.  The guitar could’ve been toned down a little, but the chorus is pretty good if not obvious (if you know what I mean).  It’s definitely a step-up after those last few songs.

8. closest love

I found it shocking that they decided to add on the 3rd A-side released (remember this was released as an indies single).  closest love when put next to “crossing over” makes it sound rather familiar and rather close to “only my railgun” but slightly slower.  I like the guitar riffs in the song I’ll admit, but once again it’s suffering from too slow for its own good.

9. meditations

Another 6 min.+ song I have to deal with?  The song actually has an interesting amount of oomph that was lacking so far in the album and I’m happy to hear that it actually moves around unlike previous songs.  There’s points where I once again feel like it could’ve been done faster, but it’s not a bad song and the solo was orgasmic.  I have to say it’s one of the good new tracks on the album.

10. trusty snow

I initially thought this was actually a new version of “memory of snow” but it’s great to know that there’s no connections between the two.  I kind of like the quirkyness of the song for some reason even though there isn’t much original to it which isn’t surprising.  I still think the verses are much more impressive to me than the chorus, but that’s just me.  Still an average tune.

11. lost answer

Once again, I wish there was a way to actually enjoy this song, but the arrangement from sat is clearly becoming very stale and it’s frustrating me at this point.  Yoshino’s vocals sound oddly tighter than usual and that’s also a problem for me, but I think it could be worked around after a while.  Probably the worst of the new songs IMO.

12. eternal pain

I was so happy that finally sat actually stayed out of the song mostly for the album’s longest tune (2 seconds longer than “meditations”, go figure).  I loved the beginning with Yoshino singing only with piano and strings before the electric guitars and drums join in later on in the song.  I do think the lessened emotion did hurt the song, but what could you do at this point right?  It’s a good ballad at least?

13. stay with you

I find that fripSide closing their album with an outro was kind of odd of a decision to do.  Of course Yoshino is present in the song despite the song’s length of 1:42.  It’s the simplest tune as well with sat just playing the piano.  I was wondering where a song like this would be since y’know the whole album is synth overload and such…I guess it’s alright simple and clean is the way to finish infinite synthesis.

Tracks Recommended

  • only my railgun
  • meditations
  • eternal pain
  • crossing over

Song of Avoidance

  • lost answer

I kind of feared that fripSide’s first album with Yoshino Nanjo was going to end up exactly like I thought it’d be.  infinite synthesis suffers quite a bit from sameish sounds syndrome and it really took a toll on me because it really bored me even before we got halfway into the album.  I mean there were a few tracks that sort of broke the chain, but overall I was just not impressed.  Leave me only my railgun and I’m a happy Asian XD

 

fripSide – future gazer October 12, 2010

Filed under: fripSide — solarblade @ 4:41 am

Track Listing

  1. future gazer
  2. fortissimo -the ultimate crisis-
  3. future gazer -instrumental-
  4. fortissimo -the ultimate crisis- -isntrumental-

1. future gazer

I cannot strive to keep saying that sat is really bringing down the group because while future gazer is pretty light of a song, it still sounds like all their previous release that had Nanjo as the lead singer.  I will admit that her vocals sound so much better than before which is a much needed upgrade for sure.  Otherwise this song is just like other fripSide songs here…

2. fortissimo -the ultimate crisis-

Wow, a B-side that doesn’t have to do with a certain season!  Compared to “future gazer” the beats are heavier and the song sounds a bit darker, but hearing something that changed a little bit goes a long way.  I mean even Nanjo is singing deeper than she has before and I approve that.  My only disappointment is that the chorus is just boring for sure. 

Since it is their final single before their album (debut album with Nanjo being the lead vocalist) future gazer is better than “LEVEL5 -judgelight-“, but only slightly.  I really do think they’re leading themselves into a rut with these songs, but at least these ones were memorable at the least.  Makes me wonder how the album will be like now since all three singles aren’t that different to one another…

 

fripSide – closest love April 1, 2010

Filed under: fripSide — solarblade @ 4:19 am

Track Listing

  1. closest love
  2. closest love -karaoke ver.-
  3. closest love -instrumental-
  4. closest love -short ver.-

1. closest love

I’m not surprised fripSide would have had done another synthy track like their previous singles of the era.  closest love is one of those songs that would either make you like it or just pass it over because of its likeness to them.  That said, I do like the guitar-work for the song more than the synths this time around and it seems Yoshino’s vocals are a bit more refined and easier to listen to so I like that as well. 

 

 

While this was released as an indies single, I’m starting to worry that fripSide is going to suffer the GND-syndrome if they don’t change things up a bit.  I do like the synthy stuff they put out, but there’s little difference between this, “only my railgun” and “LEVEL5 -judgelight-“.  Let’s hope this era ends on a good note!

 

fripSide – LEVEL5 -judgelight- February 16, 2010

Filed under: fripSide — solarblade @ 5:59 am

Track Listing

  1. LEVEL5 -judgelight-
  2. memory of snow
  3. LEVEL5 -judgelight- -instrumental-
  4. memory of snow -instrumental-

1. LEVEL5 -judgelight-

I’m not surprised that fripSide has another synth based A-side coming by as LEVEL5.  Though the biggest differences is that the mood of the song is less darker and kind of vocally better.  Yoshino still has that shrill sound going in her voice during the choruses of the tune, but the verses are quite cool.  The arrangement is a bit like “only my railgun” but like I said a little bit lighter. 

2. memory of snow

I guess it continues the seasonal B-sides with memory of snow, representing winter.  This time though I get a strange sense of deja vu with this song because it sounds like a GIRL NEXT DOOR song for some reason.  It’s just that piano/guitar/synth arrangement is very similar to it.  I kind of was bored with the song since Yoshino’s vocals are kind of meh here.  Not bad, but not good either.

 

 

While LEVEL5 -judgelight- isn’t much better than “only my railgun”, it’s still not a bad single overall.  I did like the more upbeat sound coming from the A-side, but memory of snow was just pretty boring and not really worth another full listen…