Kurayami Monogatari

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girl next door – Life of Sound November 23, 2013

Filed under: GIRL NEXT DOOR — solarblade @ 5:11 am

lifeofsound

Track Listing

  1. Egao no Kiseki
  2. Koi no Yokan
  3. signal
  4. Namida no Yuugure
  5. my little wish
  6. all my life
  7. Hatsuyuki
  8. kotodama
  9. standing for you
  10. My pace
  11. mother

1. Egao no Kiseki

Opening gnd’s 5th album…it something that should be ultimately familiar to the fans of the group because it has their signature sound written all over it.  It’s got a lot of that 90’s synthwork and to me, for beginning their 5th with something that’s been overdone at this point, it kind of just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.  It sounds like something that would belong on their debut album the most which is definitely not a good sign.  Oh well.

2. Koi no Yokan

Maybe they should’ve begun the album with Koi no Yokan because while this song suffers a lot of the same that “Egao no Kiseki” did, the energy has a bit more punch and there’s more of a punch from Yuji on his guitar which is pretty awesome!  Even though like I said it’s very much under the gnd-syndrome, Koi no Yokan is probably one of the better songs from this album which is sort of makes up for the unevolved arrangement.

3. signal

Beginning the Life of Sound era, I was surprised that they decided to let someone else tackle the production for their singles, though the producer they chose was rather a bit mundane as they chose Mitsuru Igurashi (old producer for every little thing) and he delves in more of the same style Daisuke does.  It does slightly sound different than anything prior to the single which is nice and CHISA sounds a lot more comfortable singing than in a lot of the more *yelling* songs.  On the album, signal stands out in a nice way and breaks the monotony that is easily found on the album!  Let’s just say it definitely made me appreciate this song.

4. Namida no Yuugure

I like this rhythm of old songs and new on this album, going into Namida no Yuugure, I actually think it wasn’t produced by Daisuke either because it sounds like Igurashi and there’s just something really catchy about the song!  Add that CHISA is also giving a pretty solid performance and I felt this was the album’s gem…it just sounds so 90s and yet so cool!

5. my little wish

After the energy of the first 4 songs, my little wish comes in as the album’s first ballad and unfortunately, my little wish is just a bit bland and boring overall.  I did enjoy listening to CHISA, but the song just lacks overall and while the chorus tries to alleviate the problems, it just comes off even more plain…if you want a ballad just go for “Orion”.  Oh yeah, the random synth inserts…how unfitting XD.

6. all my life

It doesn’t help that its led to another unfortunate song, the second A-side released, all my life.  Actually, you might have just called these two tracks (this and “my little wish”) clones because they tried to incorporate the same elements (except this track has a nice chorus) so I suppose that’s one way to say it works better.  It’s still rather bland and Igurashi has overstayed his welcome when this single was released.

7. Hatsuyuki

Getting back to 2 more new songs, Hatsuyuki seems to be the album’s winter song and luckily unlike the previous two tracks, this song doesn’t seem to go overboard with the synth appearance and left this one with more natural instrumentation.  I actually appreciated this because CHISA sounds so nice and pleasant and the chorus worked this time around with Yuji behind.  If there was a choice of ballad to listen to, please this is the best one the album has to offer.

8. kotodama

I actually hate to say it, but I kind of miss Daisuke, but it seems like he returns to produce our next track and fortunately it’s not another ballad, but one of the more mid-tempo jams like “Be your wings” or “Jounetsu no Daishou” which might appease to more of the fans that like that sound.  Also, screamy CHISA return as well, so be prepared for that!  I moderately enjoyed the song, but not as good as “Namida no Yuugure” was.

9. standing for you

As the final A-side released for the album (and final A-side period), standing for you came in and while it’s another Igurashi-produced single, standing for you is kind of in the middle of the three released.  I like how bright and poppy the tune is, but that being said, there’s just something missing here after I had some time to listen to it.  It’s OK, but not really as amazing as I initially took it.

10. My pace

The we come into our final stretch of new songs.  First up is My pace and I’m quite unsure how to take it at first because it started off slow but starts to gain pace (OHHH) the deeper the song you get to and it comes at a head right in the chorus.  That’s when I started to find myself really enjoying the song.  It’s still in its gnd-ways but at least it’s quite nice and surprised that it’s found towards the end of the album 0.o

11. mother

Of course the album would end off with another ballad (hey, 4 out of 11 is not bad).  Sadly, it just can’t be a natural ballad like “Hatsuyuki” but more like the other two ballads where the synths really have no place being there!  Fitting as the last track but by itself, it’s pretty much meh…

Tracks Recommended

  • Namida no Yuugure
  • kotodama
  • signal
  • Koi no Yokan
  • Hatsuyuki

Song of Avoidance

  • my little wish

As the trio’s 5th (and sadly final studio album before their disbandment), Life of Sound was kind of showed that they were pretty much half-assing it at this point.  I mean even Namida no Yuugure isn’t as good as stuff from their previous album which is saying a lot for this one.  Even though they did bring in a different producer, it really wasn’t a big enough change to really give gnd something new sadly.  It just wasn’t a good album overall…

 

girl next door – standing for you February 26, 2013

Filed under: GIRL NEXT DOOR — solarblade @ 9:55 pm

standingforyou

Track Listing

  1. standing for you
  2. Kokuhaku
  3. standing for you (English Ver.)
  4. standing for you (Instrumental)
  5. Kokuhaku (Instrumental)

1. standing for you

I was wondering what standing for you was like (especially for how many times they delayed the damn single), standing for you is more Igurashi love here and that strong 90’s tone.  At least this tune is more upbeat and honestly, it reminds me of old day after tomorrow which made me smile a bit.  CHISA’s bright vocals filtered throughout the song and I’m really enjoying it even if it’s VERY nostalgia-filled.

2. Kokuhaku

A 6-minute ballad?  Yep, that’s what we got with Kokuhaku and I was loathing getting into the track because gnd and ballads don’t really go well for them sans a rare few.  I do like that the song incorporates piano and acoustic guitar (with light electric) altogether.  CHISA does a good job and all, but the song is just way TOO long for its own good.

3. standing for you (English Ver.)

Oh…..this is just not kosher!  I mean the arrangement is the same which is great, but holy shit should CHISA just stick with just doing Japanese because I couldn’t understand anything she was saying minus a couple of buzzworthy words here and there.  This might have been the better version had CHISA sung this well…oh well…

I really don’t understand why the single was pushed back as much as it did (ironic that “Silent Stream” was too pushed back a lot too) but standing for you is a great gnd song and is the best of the “Life of Sound’s” singles.  Kokuhaku could’ve been better had it been a couple minutes shorter…and the English version of standing for you…well…ick…I just can’t wait for this era to finish lol.

 

girl next door – all my life September 18, 2012

Filed under: GIRL NEXT DOOR — solarblade @ 11:49 pm

Track Listing

  1. all my life
  2. so pleasure
  3. signal (From Live Tour 2012 ~Best Collection~)
  4. all my life (Instrumental)
  5. so pleasure (Instrumental)

1. all my life

So it seems like gnd has got Igurashi again for this A-side and unfortunately, I don’t really remember a thing about this song.  I mean it’s not as vast as “Orion” was and a lot more blander than “Silent Scream” that’s for sure.  I guess it’ slightly dramatic in execution, but I still don’t feel anything for the song.

2. so pleasure

At least the B-side is a little more exciting and upbeat, but it sounds like Igurashi mixed with Daisuki and we ended up with this kind of nostalgic tune (with an Engrish name).  I find it somewhat catchy, but it feels extremely dated (but is that really something new considering gnd’s track record?).

3. signal (From Live Tour 2012 ~Best Collection~)

Nice to know that signal gets a live version since it seems CHISA sounds a lot better live than in the studio.  Her performance on signal is pretty good and the song has slowly attatched itself on me.  It’s not really their best live, but this is still pretty strong.

 

 

I wonder if this era is going to be all produced by Igurashi because if it is, then I’m not looking forward to it.  all my life is too simple and just bland to listen to.  so pleasure does things a little better but is still dated as hell and the live version of signal was OK but not their best.  I hate to say it, but I miss Daisuke LOL

 

girl next door – signal June 1, 2012

Filed under: GIRL NEXT DOOR — solarblade @ 3:50 am

Track Listing

  1. signal
  2. Precious Friend
  3. Dada Para!! (JAPANATION Remix) (CD only)
  4. signal (Instrumental)
  5. Precious Friend (Instrumental)

1. signal

For the first time they actually got someone else to produce a song for them!  Though the choice isn’t very far from what we’re used to, we get Mitsuru Igarashi (ex-ELT member) behind the song.  I mean already it sounds pretty different, but it definitely feels like the song was used in the 90’s since it sounds like an opening to something like old GUNDAM or the like.  CHISA isn’t sounding bad to be quite honest, a lot less screamy which is good!  After a while, it does kind of become bland, but it’s the first step for them to get away from their sameish styles they’ve done for 4 albums straight.

2. Precious Friend

Originally was the A-side, but for some reason, the idea changed, Precious Friend is more of what we’ve come to expect from the trio.  I mean jeeze, you might as well have found it on “Agaruneku!” or “Destination”.  I just find it pretty much bland and kind of forgetful of a song.  If anything, it reminds me of “Shiawase no Jouken”.  People might like this song actually…but I think this has to grow on me.

3. Dada Para!! (JAPANATION Remix)

On the CD only we get a remix of Dada Para!! and what could you really do with it after how amazing the original is?  The remix does sound a bit more Westernized which is a pretty good start for them, but the remix overall doesn’t really build on it since CHISA’s lines are not fitting with the arrangement very well.

 

 

I mean with rumors once again that gnd would break up being defunct again, we begin anew with the first single of the era with signal.  I love the fact that it’s a new change for them because of a new producer and all.  It’s still kind of bland but at least there’s something fresh.  Precious Friend is alright but a little bland as well because there’s so many other songs like that and the remix of Dada Para!! is just a little uneventful for me.  I hope they get better!

 

girl next door – Agaruneku! December 29, 2011

Filed under: GIRL NEXT DOOR — solarblade @ 6:55 am

Track Listing

  1. Dada Para!!
  2. No.1
  3. Summer Time
  4. Boogie-Woogie Night
  5. Kimi no Moto e
  6. Kimi no Tomodachi
  7. ROCK YOUR BODY EXTENDED
  8. my own path
  9. Zutto
  10. Kiss Kiss Kiss
  11. Yume no Hana
  12. Your Story
  13. snowflakes

1. Dada Para!!

I love that the album starts off with gnd’s first single of the era and Dada Para!! is still one of the group’s best songs because like the title implies, it’s styled in a para-para kind of way and it really makes you want to do those crazy moves with the aggressive synth beat.  It helps that CHISA was pretty expressive in the song and clearly she was having fun with this one for sure.  I mean, it does kind of gets repetitive in the end, but for me I’m just enjoying the arrangement hardcore.  Best A-side of the era hands down!

2. No.1

The first new track, No.1 kind of follows in the footsteps of “Dada Para!!” but not as heavy or forceful.  I’m also noticing CHISA singing a little more stronger here which is good because I’m kind of enjoying this as a whole.  The upbeat flow and arrangement just worked though I can’t say that I enjoyed the fact that the way they ended the song worked…I mean using fade out was kind of odd.

3. Summer Time

Didn’t we just have “Summer Breeze” and now we’re on Summer Time?  This is pretty damn confusing haha.  To me, this song is a bit more cuter sounding than the previous two tracks and kind of reminds me of “Seeds of dream” which is an odd thing but this song continues to carry this overjoyous sound that is kind of sugary.  Actually the ~yeah yeah yeah~ parts are dejavu to “Infinity” as well…it’s just sounds like a collection of two songs from the “NEXT FUTURE” era.  Doesn’t help that CHISA is yelling this song out…yeah not liking this much.

4. Boogie-Woogie Night

Moving into the 3rd single released for the era, Boogie-Woogie Night finally has latched onto me since it’s kind of funky and full of a disco style.  I will say that CHISA isn’t using smooth vocals but her enthusiasm kind of worked in the song (especially in the chorus).  It gets better when I hear muted trumpet coming into the foreground as well.  I don’t think this song deserves as much flak as it has gotten but whatever it’s different and I like it!

5. Kimi no Moto e

Oh I heard Yuji’s guitars prominently opening our next new song!  Though it’s quickly replaced with a whole bunch of Daisuke’s synths and this is kind of brightly colored like “Summer Time”, but this sounds rather catchy and CHISA isn’t yelling the song off.  It does at points remind me of a certain Katamari song but this is still quite interesting and catchy. 

6. Kimi no Tomodachi

I’m on and off about gnd’s more mid-tempo tracks because they seem to drag most of the time like this song is a perfect example of that.  There’s just something that I just kind of despise about this track.  It’s no “Jounetsu no Daishou” so that can be ruled out.  I know gnd sounds dated, but this song is just caking it on and I’m not a fan of it period!

7. ROCK YOUR BODY EXTENDED

I’m all for ROCK YOUR BODY making the album cut, but why oh why did it have the be the 9 minute version?!?  I’m not so much a fan of the long version since it takes too long to get into the main bulk of the song.  As for that main bulk, it’s pretty 90’s europop and it’s edgy as well and I really like that about this song.  I will say the short version is much better to be honest.

8. my own path

The rest of the album here on out are purely new tracks and it starts off with a bang!  I didn’t expect to enjoy my own path as much as I do but it’s kind of cool and reminds me of their older stuff (mostly “Guuzen no Kakuritsu” which is totally a good thing).  CHISA’s vocals are a bit shouty but not enough to be a distraction like “Summer Time” did.  It’s not so bad actually!

9. Zutto

I’m not sure why there’s a lot of these happy-ish songs but Zutto is a little more breezy sounding than the others which is a good sign at least.  I must say of the new songs, this sounds A LOT like the stuff from their “GIRL NEXT DOOR” album.  To me it’s kind of interesting to hear a song like this on Agaruneku!…though thank god there’s two albums between the two.

10. Kiss Kiss Kiss

Can we get off using this title…it’s like the new “Ai no Uta” or something along those lines.  Now this song unlike the last one has a certain “Destination” kind of groove to it and I really enjoyed this one (and it’s a mid-tempo kind of song).  I’m also hearing a bit more of Yuji in this song as well and I love when he’s guitars a heard just as much as the synths.  Pretty cool track!

11. Yume no Hana

Yuji continues to show up in our next song with an acoustic guitar which is an interesting new twist for the group to use on this album.  I will say that this is surprisingly dated as well and kind of comes off like a less loud version of “Zutto”.  It’s alright, but I kind of zone out from this song towards the end.

12. Your Story

Now this is more of a song that I would enjoy from the trio and it works since it doesn’t sound off or dated.  I like the distant twinkling of the piano in the arrangement which gives it its pleasant sound.  The synths aren’t as prominent either which is great and lets CHISA sing a bit better (though she’s still kind of belting some parts).  Kind of unique in a way but I like it!

13. snowflakes

Ending the album with the album’s winter song (seems to be one on every album it seems), snowflakes really does have a wintry vibe with a little bit of jingle bells, acoustic guitars, and CHISA’s softer vocals (which is a surprise).  Does seem plain otherwise, but I don’t know it’s a good closing to the album.

Tracks Recommended

  • Dada Para!!
  • Your Story
  • my own path
  • Boogie-Woogie Night
  • Kimi no Moto e

Song of Avoidance

  • Summer Time

As this is girl next door’s 4th album (but 1st under their lower-cased name), Agaruneku! is definitely not very amazing as I hoped it would be from the singles.  Beyond the effortless title names, it really felt like the new songs were more nostalgic back to the first three albums from them.  There were a couple of good songs, but otherwise it felt rather *shrugs* lol.  More disappointing than “Destination” basically.

 

girl next door – Boogie-Woogie Night November 16, 2011

Filed under: GIRL NEXT DOOR — solarblade @ 7:05 pm

Track Listing

  1. Boogie-Woogie Night
  2. Happy Birthday!
  3. Boogie-Woogie Night (Instrumental)
  4. Hoshizora Keikaku (FROM LIVE Destination) (CD only)
  5. Happy Birthday! (Instrumental)

1. Boogie-Woogie Night

I was wondering what was next for gnd and it seems it went into a disco-themed song for Boogie-Woogie Night.  After the immense amount of energy from the previous two A-sides, it was nice to finally have a cooling point.  I will say that CHISA’s vocals are kind of pulling this song down though since she sounds weird in places (most of what I’m talking about is in the chorus).  Otherwise, the song’s arrangement won me over quickly…sounds really different and fresh actually.

2. Happy Birthday!

If I remember correctly, this single came out on CHISA’s B-day so it’s fitting that a song would celebrate that.  I’m happy that it isn’t a ballad like it has been for while (at least it felt like it to me).  Happy Birthday! is of course one of the trio’s more upbeat and cute songs out there but that’s alright.  Vocally, CHISA sounds pretty good for the most part and her joyous tone really shows off the vibe.  It’s good, but kind of doesn’t stand out like the A-sides have.

3. Hoshizora Keikaku (FROM LIVE Destination)

Just like the last single with a “Ready to be a lady” live, we get one of Hoshizora Keikaku which was funny enough the only A-side not on “Destination”.  I thought CHISA sung well in this live take of the song and while I still rather hear the Christmas version of the song done, this was a pretty solid performance!  Catchy song nowadays.

 

 

While I now know they are pulling the same release style they did for their first era, Boogie-Woogie Night has the cords to be really good and different for gnd but the vocals were kind of what killed the song for me.  Happy Birthday! was alright but amongst the other songs they have this kind of just feels bland to me.  The live version of Hoshizora Keikaku was oddly enough the best thing about the single…pretty good live perfomance!  So now we wait for their 4th album…

 

girl next door – ROCK YOUR BODY October 19, 2011

Filed under: GIRL NEXT DOOR — solarblade @ 7:00 pm

Track Listing

  1. ROCK YOUR BODY EXTENDED
  2. Nanatsu no Moji
  3. ROCK YOUR BODY
  4. Ready to be a lady (FROM LIVE Destination) (CD only)
  5. ROCK YOUR BODY (Instrumental)

1. ROCK YOUR BODY EXTENDED

Was it necessary to begin the single with a 9 minute song?!?  Then again gnd did say they were going to do new things with their music and it seems that they’re keeping their words.  The extended version of their A-sides comes first and of course it electro and fast-paced (but not as fast as “Dada Para!!”.  I was wondering when the hell CHISA was going to appear and she finally does at 4 minutes basically which is just so far away hahaha.  Beyond that I’ll review the main track song when I get to it, but essentially this was a bit too long!

2. Nanatsu no Moji

As the other new song, Nanatsu no Moji is in comparison a lot lighter than “ROCK YOUR BODY” and has a classic gnd sound which might make people happy or sad depending on your outlook on the group.  It’s alright but nothing that the group hasn’t tackled before in the previous eras.  At least I can say that CHISA sounds really nice since she isn’t yelling like normal.

3. ROCK YOUR BODY

Then the original form of ROCK YOUR BODY pops up next and brings the energy back up to an exciting level.  I must say I like the fact they went into this 90’s eurotrance sound for this song since it worked and has a great beat to it.  However, my main problem is that the verses, the chorus, and the breakdown in the middle sound like separates songs just forcefully attatched to each other and it kind of does have issues moving to one another.  Still I’m really enjoying this song overall (a little under “Dada Para!!” but still very enjoyable.

4. Ready to be a lady (FROM LIVE Destination)

I don’t think we’ve had a live version from the trio yet and it’s a strange choice but still cool that we get a chance to hear Ready to be a lady.  It’s really funny when CHISA says ~okaaaaaay~ just like Hard Gay but I doubt it was meant to be that.  The energy from the song and CHISA is still prevelant and it sound really nice overall. 

 

 

As the second single of the era, ROCK YOUR BODY is alright but I still consider “Dada Para!!” quite a bit more.  I didn’t really like that the single began with a 9 minute extension of the main track while the original was after the B-side (which by the way, Nanatsu no Moji isn’t anything special really).  ROCK YOUR BODY though was a great follow-up and continues to show a new side to gnd ^_^  Also, the live take of Ready to be a lady was kind of cool and a nice surprise.  I wonder why they’re having another quick era…but whatever!