Kurayami Monogatari

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HIROKO – OPEN THE DOOR May 18, 2011

Filed under: HIROKO — solarblade @ 9:32 pm

Track Listing

  1. Intro ~Open the door~
  2. CARNIVAL
  3. GIRLZ UP ~stand up for yourself~
  4. Rock With You
  5. Saigo no Koi
  6. Promise You
  7. is this Luv?
  8. SLOW MOTION featuring TSUGUMI (from SOULHEAD)
  9. Baby
  10. Song for you

1. Intro ~Open the door~

The whole surround sound that opens the album sounds so cool.  It’s weird though that a child starts to talk about seeing dreams and talking about all this deep stuffs and ends with HIROKO joining the kid to say ~Now I open the door…~.  Very interesting intro.

2. CARNIVAL

Ever since her debut, I’ve been wanting something that was a bit like “GIRLZ UP ~stand up for yourself~”.  CARNIVAL isn’t there, but it has this kind of slick and sexy groove to it that I enjoyed.  Also any song that doesn’t have HIROKO yelling is a good thing.  For something called CARNIVAL I was expecting something vibrant and nothing that’s creepy but this actually turned out better than I hoped…not bad!

3. GIRLZ UP ~stand up for yourself~

Umph, I still love this song like hell for some reason.  I mean it’s nothing that I could’ve searched in mihimaru GT’s discography but this has staying power and HIROKO just had fun with this song.  I love the arrangement and it really gets you energetic.  Definitely one of the more memorable A-sides of the year and great to dance to!

4. Rock With You

Oh hey another heavy song to listen to ^_^.  It does seem like the same producer who worked on “GIRLZ UP” had a hand in this because there’s places where it feels like dejavu.  It doesn’t ask too much from HIROKO since her vocals aren’t as profound and loud like the last track but it’s a nice change.  I do think the minimal sounds in the verses against the full-on sound in the chorus is a bit odd but once again, not bad here.

5. Saigo no Koi

Then moving from the dance tracks to the more slower stuffs, Saigo no Koi still doesn’t do much for me for some reason.  I know I bashed it enough in the single review because Jeff Miyahara produced it, but it really does sound like a typical Miyahara R&B ballad but with HIROKO’s unique vocals.  I guess it’s alright, but it’s still such a downgrade as HIROKO’s 2nd A-side.

6. Promise You

Then we enter the album’s promotional song and this was much better than “Saigo no Koi” for sure even though I feel like he also did this song as well.  I kind of like the arrangement this time and HIROKO’s vocals sounded much more cleaner and the chorus was pretty powerful.  Still not as good as the booty poppin songs, but this is good for her.

7. is this Luv?

Wow, only two slow songs and then we’re back into some hot shit?  I must say, other than “GIRLZ UP” this is probably my next favorite since the beats are catchy and even though HIROKO has a bit of auto-tune going on, it’s really catchy for some reason.  I must say it’s a surprise of a song and the chorus kind of got nailed into my head so I’m humming it alot!  Great song!

8. SLOW MOTION featuring TSUGUMI (from SOULHEAD)

When I saw that HIROKO was collaborating with TSUGUMI, I knew this song was going to be a bit dirty for sure.  Now we all know in vocal capabilities, TSUGUMI outdoes HIROKO, but this song is actually quite sexy and they both did a great job.  I like the rap from TSUGUMI and fit the atmosphere of the song very well.  Awesome song and is a fun and interesting collaboration for sure.

9. Baby

HIROKO didn’t exactly have the best of choices for B-sides in the era (only really between this and “Love Rincho”) and both songs were similar to one another so it was like whatever choice is ok.  It’s not like the slow songs, but it’s not a song to really booty pop to either so it’s kind of placed in the middle and that’s a strange place for a song like Baby to be.  It’s not a bad song though and it sticks in my mind better than any of the album’s slow songs.

10. Song for you

Ending the album on a sweet note, Song for you is another ballad track, but it’s not as R&B-like like “Saigo no Koi” and “Promise You”.  This track is a bit more lighter on those sides utilizing some beats and some snapping/clapping.  It might be the simplest song off the album but it shut the door on a good place and that’s a great thing to do in my book…whatever that may be 😄

Tracks Recommended

  • GIRLZ UP ~stand up for yourself~
  • is this Luv?
  • Baby

Song of Avoidance

  • Saigo no Koi

HIROKO’s debut album is alright for the most part but it felt like literally split into halves.  The sexy club-thumpers and the more slower and emotional side (ballads and light stuff).  I mean yeah it’s what we’ve known since mihimaru GT that she does both, but I would’ve had liked a little more variety if you get what I mean….I think I liked miyake’s album better IMHO.

 

HIROKO – Saigo no Koi March 13, 2011

Filed under: HIROKO — solarblade @ 3:00 am

Track Listing

  1. Saigo no Koi
  2. Love Rincho
  3. Saigo no Koi (Instrumental)
  4. Love Rincho (Instrumental)

1. Saigo no Koi

Grand, when I saw that HIROKO decided to work with Jeff Miyahara for her next single, I just shook my head because it just something I didn’t wanna see happening.  Saigo no Koi though isn’t too bad despite how much the song sounds like other songs from him.  I’ll just say that while HIROKO did good in ballads when she was with miyake and all, but I felt this was a little weak of a song.  What happened?  “GIRLZ UP ~stand up for yourself~” to this???

2. Love Rincho

As for the B-side, Love Rincho is at least something that came out well.  It has a nice refreshing, synth/R&B kind of sound to it and the good thing is that HIROKO did a much better job in vocals as well.  While it still feels more or less an equal to her last B-side “Baby”, I feel that it won’t be that memorable…then again it doesn’t make the album’s cut so no worry.

Closing HIROKO’s “Open The Door” era, Saigo no Koi was just a drop after the exciting debut single.  While I can’t blame Miyahara for dozing Saigo no Koi up, it was mostly HIROKO’s odd vocals and BKGD mixes that bothered me a little bit.  Love Rincho was better, but still isn’t really up to snuff so to say.  I’m curious to what this album will sound like!

 

HIROKO – GIRLZ UP ~stand up for yourself~ January 20, 2011

Filed under: HIROKO — solarblade @ 3:12 am

Track Listing

  1. GIRLZ UP ~stand up for yourself~
  2. Baby
  3. Clever Lady -Cruise around the World ver.- (AILI thanx to HIROKO)
  4. GIRLZ UP ~stand up for yourself (Instrumental)
  5. Baby (Instrumental)

1. GIRLZ UP ~stand up for yourself~

Ahhh, I kind of knew that HIROKO was going to step out into the spotlight on her own and with her debut A-side, GIRLZ UP is actually quite a catchy track if I may say so myself.  HIROKO’s vocals are kind of nasally in places, but she gives a lot of oomph to the song and I’m happy with that at least.  The song is just an edgy dance song and I’ve been kind of wanting to see this style from her since mihimaru’s “Switch” single.  It’s sexy and kind of fun to listen to, good enough debut IMO.

2. Baby

Of course we can’t forget that HIROKO comes from an R&B background and with Baby, we slightly return to that.  While people have said that it sounds like Miliyah Kato’s “Sayonara BABY”, I can actually say it kind of does, but luckily this is just a B-side.  Compared to “GIRLZ UP”, I don’t like this as much, but I can see HIROKO as an R&B type as well…I was actually expecting miyake to be somewhere hahaha.

3. Clever Lady -Cruise around the World ver.- (AILI thanx to HIROKO)

First Dream, now HIROKO?  I should probably take a listen to AILI at this point, but then again I have no idea how the original sounds since this is a remix and all.  Hey, if we can synth up another song, I’m happy we ended up with what we got with Clever Lady.  It’s definitely got this outer space flow to it that I love and HIROKO’s vocals are a bit lighter than in the previous songs.  I must say I’m curious about the original because I like this.

HIROKO finally also gets her debut single like miyake and I must say I love both of their debut singles, but I kind of liked HIROKO’s more since there were good B-sides as well.  With a second single announced, I actually have hopes for her since I usually like the songs she sings with miyake 😄