Kurayami Monogatari

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Genki Rockets – GENKI ROCKETS II -No border between us- September 10, 2011

Filed under: Genki Rockets — solarblade @ 10:19 pm

Track Listing

  1. prologue: the Blue
  2. Curiosity
  3. Touch me
  4. fluffy
  5. Reaching for the stars
  6. Dreaming across stars
  7. make.believe
  8. Flow
  9. Wonderland
  10. Maker
  11. rebirth
  12. Hikari no tabi
  13. Good night
  14. Touch me (metalmouse + mix)
  15. make.believe (The_AIU mix)
  16. Curiosity (RAC mix)
  17. Touch me (DORIAN mix)

1. prologue: the Blue

The intro into this pretty long album is quite nice and does an amazing job showing what’s to come from the group.  It is only strings and synths but it works for me and as it gets closer to the end, it gets more dramatic and focused before it just ends there.  Pretty intro I must say.

2. Curiosity

After the nice introduction the album really begins with Curiosity which was released as the groups (is that what they are considered?).  Since this project has two lead ladies singing we hear Rachel in this song and you can tell quite easily because of the clear English and powerful vocals.  I really fell for this song when it was released and I love it to death.  Electro done right and surprisingly is the best of the three main digital singles released prior to the album.

3. Touch me

Touch me was the third released and I think the only one the really promoted on Japanese television with it’s own PV (the other two did as well…but they were more to promote SONY than the Japanese music fanatics).  All I remember when this was released was how headache inducing that PV was.  It does follow a much lighter path overall than “Curiosity” which is cool and adds a little filtering to Rachel’s vocals and I kind of liked it without having the PV going on XD

4. fluffy

As the album’s first interlude, it isn’t as impressive as the intro since it’s kind of vacant in arrangement and just kind of is there to bridge between the two songs.  I mean take out a lot of the arrangement for “Reaching for the stars” and you’re kind of left with this.  That’s the best way I could really describe it.

5. Reaching for the stars

One of the new songs come up next and if you thought the filters in “Touch me” were a little surprising then the amount of it in this song is quite eye-popping.  I really don’t think Rachel needs any since she’s an amazing singer as it is.  It sounds really pretty not gonna lie though…but then again it hasn’t really change the core of sound so I guess I can’t say much.  It’s pretty good…but hmmm wouldn’t it have been better on their first album?

6. Dreaming across stars

I wasn’t sure what to make of Dreaming across stars since it’s so short at 2:36.  I will say this is the first song to really make me frown.  It’s not the music since it’s quick and has a good beat to it but it’s Rachel’s vocals here that turned me off.  She’s in a higher pitch than normal and she’s not hitting notes quite as good as she does in other songs on the album…actually they’re pretty sour compared to all the goodness in the other songs XD

7. make.believe

You know that new slogan SONY is using for their electronics (minus the PS3).  Yeah, it seems that the company chose Tetsuya Mizuguchi (the leader of the project) to do something to promote the new 3D TVs and such and thank god he brought Genki Rockets back up from obscurity with make.believe.  I wasn’t sure what we were gonna get but I like this song as well since it’s synths, dance beats, and strings/acoustic guitar and made Rachel the lead for the album (it seems at this point that Nami had no input for the album).  Between this and “Curiosity”, it was difficult to choose what song had the better movement but I took the latter but this is still pretty awesome of a song!

8. Flow

I like that our next new song is actually what I would consider a ballad (or close to it in Genki Rockets meaning).  The piano is really pretty and Rachel sings with power and she sounds amazing once again in this song…It makes me wonder how she’s so great in vocals here but doesn’t sound very good in “Dreaming across stars”.  It’s a very beautiful and ethereal ballad from the project.

9. Wonderland

I think that Wonderland also harkens back to their debut album which was more spacey and filled with auto-tune and filters found all over.  I don’t know what to think about Rachel under it again but it sounds really pretty not gonna lie.  The arrangement has such a nice fantasy-feel to it that takes you to another place.  I like it at the end of the day.

10. Maker

I love the fact I can hear guitars used in this song since it shows a bit more color to the album than the others have so far.  I really don’t like the warbling effect used on Rachel’s vocals and even then it wants to be an edgy song but damn it didn’t need the manipulations like that which took me out of the song since it gave me a headache after a while.  The arrangement is pretty awesome though which saddens me and it gets really good towards the end when the warbling effect goes away.  I’ll prolly end up loving it after I get used to it.

11. rebirth

Another interlude comes our way and like “fluffy” it really isn’t that important of a song since it just kind of passes by without leaving much of an impression.  Does sound like something Q;indivi would use, but still…even less memorable than the other interlude.

12. Hikari no tabi

Strange to see one song on the album having a Japanese title and yet still doesn’t feature Nami.  Though I hear backup vocals this time which sounds great for some reason.  I like that it’s in the same vein as “Curiosity” in its arrangement but more upbeat.  It doesn’t really have an epic factor towards though but I do like it still overall.

13. Good night

Finally we get into the outro of the album and I like that it closes out with Rachel singing with keyboard backing her up with light strings added later on.  To me the lyrics remind me of a lot of the other songs’ lyrics which means there was a concept behind lyrically but this is a pretty song and Rachel sounds heavenly!

14. Touch me (metalmouse + mix)

After the outro, we get into remixes of the three digital singles starting with Touch me.  From the start it feels like they subdued Rachel’s vocals but to me the arrangement doesn’t feel too different from the original which is a little odd because I would’ve expected more edge or done a different way.  It makes the song more danceable I know that, but hmmmm I just don’t know…at least it sounds good!

15. make.believe (The_AIU mix)

Next is the remix for the first song released in the era.  Now this is what I call a giant switch of sound.  Unlike the original arrangement, the remix is a bit quieter at first since we could hear Rachel clearly but then grows into a dance mix with guitars present.  I actually liked it but it didn’t feel like it fits with make.believe’s melody.  Slightly awkward remix if you ask me.

16. Curiosity (RAC mix)

Which is the same problem found on the RAC mix of Curiosity as well.  The original being so epic and awesome but the remix made it more cutesy and less powerful which is such a disappointment for me.  I don’t know why but it just doesn’t work for me even though it’s kind of classy in its own way.  Pass for me though!

17. Touch me (DORIAN mix)

Closing out the album finally is another remix of Touch me but it’s a really long remix clocking at 8:17 which means it definitely comes off as a club mix of the song.  My problem with club mixes is the fact that it takes way too long to get into the meat of the remix.  It’s alright once Rachel comes in, but it doesn’t feel as strong as the “metalmouse + mix” of it.

Tracks Recommended

  • Curiosity
  • make.believe
  • Flow
  • Touch me (metalmouse + mix)
  • Wonderland

Song of Avoidance

  • Dreaming across stars

I have to say, the hiatus that Genki Rockets took after “Genki Rockets I -Heavenly Star-” has done good for the project since the songs off this album sound better and did a better job at leaving an impression for sure.  I mean the longer length and amount of songs helped as well but this was a great album…though there’s no Nami to be found (or if there is…very little).  I’d say it’s in the top favorites of the year…great electronic album and dance album too!

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