Kurayami Monogatari

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HIMEKA – Kagiri Aru Yume December 15, 2013

Filed under: HIMEKA — solarblade @ 7:18 pm

kagiriaruyume

Track Listing

  1. Kagiri Aru Yume
  2. TSU-BA-SA
  3. Kagiri Aru Yume (off Vocal)
  4. TSU-BA-SA (off Vocal)

1. Kagiri Aru Yume

HIMEKA kicks the single with the leading track which sounds so longing and lonely but it starts to grow the longer it goes.  It’s a bit towards stuff she’s done before but that could be a good thing here.  HIMEKA sounds great as usual and she gave a pretty strong performance (though “Hatenaki Michi” still outranks it)…though I’m loving the added electric guitars during the chorus.  Overall not a bad choice to have chosen as an A-side.

2. TSU-BA-SA

The B-side for the single, TSU-BA-SA kind of takes that role of that typical anison track wtih some flurrying synths, piano and guitar melodies and some soaring vocals.  Actually, HIMEKA’s vocals were my favorite part of the song because she really does sound great and gives life to an otherwise boring anison track.

 

 

HIMEKA’s 2nd single under 5bp. Records, Kagiri Aru Yume isn’t as strong as her last single, “Where I belong” in that well neither songs really struck as much of a chord as the songs from the aforementioned single did.  Kagiri Aru Yume is an OK A-side and she sounds good, but I think she excelled better in TSU-BA-SA since she actually put some energ into a song that could’ve been a REALLY generic mess…strange right?

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HIMEKA – Where I belong October 24, 2012

Filed under: HIMEKA — solarblade @ 10:03 pm

Track Listing

  1. Where I belong
  2. Echoes
  3. Kami to Akuma to Tenshi to Watashi
  4. Where I belong (off vocal)
  5. Echoes (off vocal)
  6. Kami to Akuma to Tenshi to Watashi (off vocal)

1. Where I belong

With HIMEKA joining a new company in the wake of her first album, Where I belong marks a change for our Canadian wonder.  The song does remind me of “Asu e no Kizuna” since it’s pretty much you normal anison track.  We see a little more color from her voice which really stood out to me!  Though it’s not her best A-side, I quite enjoyed it!

2. Echoes

Things slow down for the first B-side, Echoes which is oddly enough a really pretty song…then again the accordion in the intro was really unique.  I thought HIMEKA did a much better job vocally here than in “Where I belong”.  Beyond that, the song is just a smooth and pretty ballad. 

3. Kami to Akuma to Tenshi to Watashi

The other B-side takes more of an upbeat and striking style unlike the other songs and I actually thought this was the best off the single because we don’t see HIMEKA in this setting very much (if at all).  I really loved HIMEKA’s voice because she’s using power and she just gave an awesome performance here and I loved the pop/rock style as well.  Epic track!

 

 

After “Himekanvas”, I was curious to see if SONY would want to continue with her but it seems they didn’t and now HIMEKA moved to 5pb. Records (pretty much a well-known anison company) and released her first single with the company, Where I belong.  Suffice to say it wasn’t too much of a change since HIMEKA was already anison so this was a smooth transition.  For a debut under a new label, it’s pretty nice.  The leading track and Echoes will be familiar to fans since it does sound like a bit like her SONY stuff so no worries.  HOWEVER, Kami to Akuma to Tenshi to Watashi was really awesome and pushed HIMEKA to her limits and it came out awesomely!!!!  You have to hear it.  Good single overall!

 

HIMEKA – Himekanvas December 10, 2011

Filed under: HIMEKA — solarblade @ 11:51 am

Track Listing

  1. Adesso e Fortuna ~ Honoo to Eien (CD+DVD only)
  2. Asu e no Kizuna
  3. 1000 no Omoi
  4. Crossroad
  5. HIGURASHI
  6. Hatenaki Michi
  7. Hikari
  8. My door
  9. Genkai DREAMERS
  10. Secret Eden
  11. La La La ~Sekai wo Hitotsu ni~
  12. Mirai e… -Album Version-
  13. Asu e no Kizuna -Ballad Version- (CD+DVD only)

1. Adesso e Fortuna ~ Honoo to Eien

Huh…the album begins differently depending on which version of the album you get.  The CD+DVD version starts us off with Adesso e Fortuna.  Of recent releases from HIMEKA, she keeps things light and adds in a little touch of ansion.  I like the use of castanets with the strings, piano, and harp to make it more of majestic kind of opening.  HIMEKA hasn’t lost her great vocal ability either and adds a powerful touch to the song (though some parts it felt like an enka song) still, this was great but the it felt like the end was a little odd coming after a solo from the arrangement…I thought there was gonna be one more roll through the chorus…guess not.

2. Asu e no Kizuna

The CD only version of the album begins with HIMEKA’s introduction to the J-pop world, Asu e no Kizuna.  I still remember the melody of the song even after how long it’s been out.  While her vocals have gotten better since then, HIMEKA does sound a little stressed and squeaky at some points.  Still, the fact that the melody is so strong and the vocals that are strong stood out the most for me.  One of the few debuts that really stood out to me in 2009.

3. 1000 no Omoi

Our next new song takes HIMEKA’s anison style to more of a synth-based style.  I will say that while the strings are going to be a bit of a bother since most of the songs on this album features them, 1000 no Omoi fixes it up with a pretty catchy beat and powerful chorus.  Another great song here from her.

4. Crossroad

I’m not a big fan of HIMEKA getting all acoustic at the beginning to Crossroad because her vocals sound a little too raw and she kind of hits unusual notes.  Likewise, the song quickly adds strings and percussion along with the acoustic guitar and it sound like a different song but I’m kind of bored with this one.  I will say the whole ~I choose my life~ in the start of the chorus stuck to my mind.  Still, kind of forgetful.

5. HIGURASHI

One of the few interesting ballads on the album, HIGURASHI kind of feels like a great ending to an anime since it’s got those strings that actually doesn’t sound bad here at least not until the solo parts come in, then it kind of gets forgetable.  It’s dramatic in a good way and the verses were definitely stronger than the chorus IMO.

6. Hatanaki Michi

Following in the footsteps of “HIGURASHI” and also “Asu e no Kizuna”, HIMEKA’s second A-side comes in and I thought also carried itself pretty strongly.  The melody is one of the best things about the song for me and she sung much more strongly as well.  Yeah, there’s just nothing in the song that disappoints me at all.

7. Hikari

Just seems that Hikari follows alongside the other upbeat songs here but is a little lighter than the other ones.  While she has great vocals in the song which shows a lot more work has been done with HIMEKA’s vocals since her debut.  The song itself is kind of tiring since it’s just like the other light ones.  At least the vocals saved the song from being a total blur.

8. My door

Another ballad starts with My door which of course is piano/strings based.  To me it’s kind of the throwaway song despite having great vocals.  She’s showing a lot of control between her soft and loud vocals but the arrangement is just so blah for me. 

9. Genkai DREAMERS

Genkai DREAMERS tries to kick things up a notch with the harder sound from the guitars and such and funny enough it sounds rather good and not as boring like the last song.  HIMEKA’s voice does sound a little different but she really gets the song going and I’m loving the chorus where her voice just booms in the song.  Loving this!

10. Secret Eden

The last of the new tracks, Secret Eden is kind of another bummer song for me since it sounds like a more dramatic version of “Hatenaki Michi”.  It’s just a little too typical anime-esque for me and doesn’t have a good drive like some of the other songs unfortunately.

11. La La La ~Sekai wo Hitotsu ni~

As we near towards the end of the album, we find ourselves at the lone digital single released.  I will say that it was nice to hear it since it was poppy and brighter than any other song on the album and it let HIMEKA utilize a much cuter tone for the song but I felt like it was a shelved H!P song oddly enough.  Actually to be more specific, it sounds like “Jishin Motte Yume wo Motte Tobitatsu Kara”.  It’s that same happy song…it’s just weird.

12. Mirai e… -Album Version-

Closing the CD only edition is HIMEKA’s third A-side which was edited on the album here.  Being about 35 seconds longer than the original, I was curious to what really changed in the song but it seems that HIMEKA resung the song and there’s an extra instrumental part.  Nothing totally out of the ordinary here.  Mirai e… never really caught on me as well as the other two A-sides but this is still a pretty ballad and appropriate for the last track.

13. Asu e no Kizuna -Ballad Version-

However, if you bought the CD+DVD version, you close with a ballad take of Asu e no Kizuna which is just beautiful on all aspects.  Replacing the whole anime arrangement for just a piano (and later on strings)  is pretty ballsy and really speaks for itself with how great HIMEKA sung the song.  I have to say, I actually prefer this over the original *gasp*

Tracks Recommended

  • Hatenaki Michi
  • Asu e no Kizuna -Ballad Version-
  • Genkai DREAMERS
  • 1000 no Omoi
  • Asu e no Kizuna

Song of Avoidance

  • My door

I took two years+ but we finally got HIMEKA’s debut album and well it’s definitely proven that she’s an amazing singer and very talented in all the songs she sung in.  HOWEVER, the production team really failed to bring it, at least in my opinion, they were slacking it big time.  The first three songs and the last two + Hatenaki Michi were the highlights.  I don’t know why but the rest of the album just felt like cheap rehashes of the songs that were great and disappointed with me.  So the album ended up really being half/half in the end.  Maybe her sophomore album will be so much better because she deserves great producers for her great voice!

 

HIMEKA – Mirai e… May 26, 2010

Filed under: HIMEKA — solarblade @ 10:51 am

Track Listing

  1. Mirai e…
  2. Winding Road
  3. Mirai e… ~Instrumental~
  4. Winding Road ~Instrumental~
  5. Mirai e… ~Anime Edit~ (Limited Edition Bonus Track)

1. Mirai e…

For the first time, HIMEKA releases her first A-side ballad and to be honest, it sounds good.  Really?  Has there been a bad A-side yet from her?  I really like how her voice sounds delicate and yet powerful in the chorus.  It’s a great balance of sound.  The arrangement is kind of the usual here, with strings and such until the interlude where these synths come in and they sound epic.  Very pretty song we have here.

2. Winding Road

To me, Winding Road definitely reminds me of her debut song, “Asu e no Kizuna” but that’s because of the animesque feel it has.  I’ll admit that she does these songs very well and this one is catchy as well.  It also shows HIMEKA’s vocals a whole lot more broadly and that’s great.  Though the synths that are present are like not noticeable until the ending of the song, this was pretty good as well.

 

 

Third single in and HIMEKA hasn’t failed me yet.  Mirai e… is a great ballad from her and while it’s actually not her first ballad period, she pulls it off quite nicely.  As for Winding Road, it’s one of those “if she excels at it why change it?” kind of songs.  I wonder if her album will be right after this…if it is, I can’t wait to hear it! 

 

HIMEKA – ♥ Anison ~Utatte Mita~ March 29, 2010

Filed under: HIMEKA — solarblade @ 2:28 am

Track Listing

  1. Yuzurenai Negai
  2. Hitomi no Naka no Meikyuu
  3. BLAZE
  4. Tamashii no Refrain
  5. VOICES
  6. Sore ga, Ai Deshou
  7. DREAMS
  8. Last regrets

1. Yuzurenai Negai

I just listened to Shoko’s take of the song and I disliked her version because she was just vocally out of place.  Now HIMEKA’s version of the song is vocally stronger and I preferred this, but the arrangement is pretty weak though, but I think it was supposed to be near the originals.  She does cross into yell-land, but it’s not bad since she’s actually hitting the right notes.

2. Hitomi no Naka no Meikyuu

While this is my first time hearing this song, HIMEKA was given a rockish type of song with Hitomi no Naka no Meikyuu and she really fits in with this style of music because her vocals are quite strong given the arrangement.  The chorus does make her get a little higher, but I love it and if this song was given a PV, I bet she would’ve been dancing.  Another good cover!

3. BLAZE

Probably the closest thing to Nami’s old music, BLAZE is actually pretty simple from HIMEKA and while she doesn’t try to show off her abilities like her last two songs as much, she’s still doing pretty good.  The acoustic touches and synths help out as well.  Damn haha

4. Tamashii no Refrain

Just like “Yuzurenai Negai”, Tamashii no Refrain was a favorite of mine off of Shoko’s recent cover album.  HIMEKA’s version is just like Shoko’s in the way it’s almost electronica and she really pulled this off a whole lot more stronger than Shoko’s TBQH.  The arrangement might not be as strong and forceful, but the mysterious flow of it and closer relations to the original helped out and HIMEKA once again vocally proved to know how to hold it down.  The chorale middle though was pretty epic though before getting back to the 2nd verse xD

5. VOICES

I was happy to see a Akino Arai cover here and with VOICES it couldn’t have been a better choice.  HIMEKA starts off singing just by herself and then slowly adds in these strings to add this rather atmospheric flow that what got me into her in the first place.  Beautiful song and possibly the best this mini-album has to offer.

6. Sore ga, Ai Deshou

Ahhh, we get an acoustic tune cover this time and this one sounds very anime-ish in the way it went for me.  While it is more of a pop track than a good portion of the songs here, it’s not bad, but I don’t think HIMEKA is made for acoustically-driven songs.  It does sound like it’s the most recent cover though, but I’m not sure why.

7. DREAMS

The most energetic song off the album, DREAMS is definitely a GUNDAM song and while she had more choices to choose from but choosing to cover a guy song was pretty risky, DREAMS came off better for her because it just sounds more like a TWO-MIX song which is awesome.  Dance is definitly a strong point for Ms. HIMEKA and is another one of my favorites here.

8. Last regrets

Ending off the cover album, Last regrets is more of a mid-tempo song than anything and while I love the piano and strings leading the tune, they didn’t stand out against HIMEKA’s more smoother vocals.  It’s pretty good though, but to be honest, there were not a lot of things to be reminded of this song as much the other songs.

 

 

HIMEKA’s first cover album was actually pretty good and shows that she’s getting even better at singing than she started back in “Asu e no Kizuna” and that’s good progress on her part.  While she still is getting used to the business, she should be happy cuz I’m happy with this release and shows that she can be pretty huge if SONY continues to get her moving! 

 

HIMEKA – Hatenaki Michi November 27, 2009

Filed under: HIMEKA — solarblade @ 7:14 pm

Track Listing

  1. Hatenaki Michi
  2. Sora wo Oshiete Kureru
  3. Hatenaki Michi ~Instrumental~
  4. Sora wo Oshiete Kureru ~Instrumental~
  5. Hatenaki Michi ~Anime Edit~ (Anime Edition Bonus Track)

1. Hatenaki Michi

Unlike HIMEKA’s debut, Hatenaki Michi is actually a ballad instead of an upbeat track.  The first thing I instantly draw myself into is HIMEKA’s vocals.  There continuing to get better and she sounds great.  After a while, the songs get more broader and becomes less of a ballad and more into to a pop/rock track and HIMEKA’s vocals are way better.  It’s definitely not a formulaic anime track and I’m happy about that.  Definitely amazing

2. Sora wa Oshiete Kureru

The B-side is a bit more like “Asu e no Kizuna” in the way that’s it does follow the anime formula, but I found myself drawn to her vocals here because HIMEKA really hits some high notes and she’s not terrible in doing them either.  It’s defintely her most aggrssive song to date and I really liked the power of her voice here.  Defintely another winner.

 

 

While HIMEKA has a tendency to get all emo and really depressed, I really don’t see why she doubts herself so much because this single is definitely another strong single from the Canadian.  Even though she has no ballad this time, both songs are great songs that show off her vocals.  It’s definitely better than “Asu e no Kizuna” IMO.

 

HIMEKA – Asu e no Kizuna May 26, 2009

Filed under: HIMEKA — solarblade @ 10:14 am
Tags: , ,

asuenokizuna

Track Listing

  1. Asu e no Kizuna
  2. Sayonara Solitaire
  3. Asu e no Kizuna ~Instrumental~

1. Asu e no Kizuna

HIMEKA starts off her debut single with well, a typical anime opening-like song.  Asu e no Kizuna has the usual formula going on, but the nice thing is that the song features so great strings and piano mixed in with song rock twinges.  Now I’ve heard HIMEKA’s previous performances and thought she was outstanding, here it seems like she was holding back a bit when things got loud.  Oddly she was hitting the high notes a bit too thin, but otherwise this is better than a lot of debuts I’ve heard so I like this song.

2. Sayonara Solitaire

The B-side doesn’t come as a surprise being a cover….Though the cover is from Chiba Saeko who I know well from singing the theme song for “Bokusatsu Tenshi Dokuro-chan”  So when I hear the linkage to one another, I kind of WTF since Chiba’s vocals in that song were way too cute.  Luckily, HIMEKA does a great job here showcasing more of her vocals and putting it in a ballad was even better.  She still has debut glitches, but that’s nothing to frown upon.  I thought this was better than “Asu e no Kizuna” IMO.

 

 

SONY did themselves very well by giving HIMEKA the contract because she’s a really good singer and her debut showed it well enough.  Asu e no Kizuna is pretty good for an opening and even though it’s her first song, doesn’t mean it’s not terrible, but maybe one day in the future she could come back to it and give a powerful performance.  Sayonara Solitaire though was amazing and as simple as this ballad is, it really came through in the end and was better than Asu e no Kizuna.  I’m hoping for a great 2nd single