Kurayami Monogatari

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hitomi – ∞ October 18, 2012

Filed under: hitomi — solarblade @ 5:05 am

Track Listing

  1. ↑↓
  2. Ai to Kage
  3. Kiseki to Kiseki
  4. Heart Relocation
  5. Midnight Angel
  6. Countdowners
  7. Kongara Girl
  8. Superwoman
  9. Nokosazu Tabe Slim Lil
  10. Chiraval Tenkara Marusen
  11. Love☆Horoscope

1. ↑↓

I loved that hitomi opened the album with the promotional track and boy does it kick things off on a high note.  I’m happy since this song is dark electro and everything that I loved about her wrapped up in one.  I just love the grittyness and add in hitomi’s vocals which are auto-tuned but they seem to fit the atmosphere of the song.  Yeah, this is definitely a song that surprised me because I didn’t think hitomi would pull a track like this…Easy favorite!

2. Ai to Kage

I have no idea why, but when Ai to Kage started I kind of had a dash of deja vu because it reminded me of a Ke$ha song, “Your Love is My Drug”.  I don’t know but I think it’s just the overall feel and some of the arrangement just seems to make me think of it.  It’s bright so it’s a total contrast from “↑↓” of course so it might be a little jarring, but this song isn’t bad…just a little unimpressive.

3. Kiseki to Kiseki

I like that hitomi is moving onto her pop/rock style she had from “SPIRIT” since this song screams summer vibes and I really enjoyed the feeling of the song.  I can see this being the crowd pleaser because there’s a lot of chanting lines so it’s an easy song to get into.  It’s a fun song, let’s leave it at that LOL.

4. Heart Relocation

Now if there was a song that would fit after “↑↓”, Heart Relocation would definitely be the song because it follows up with a cooler synth experience but it has a bit more form and boom.  hitomi’s auto-tuned vocals are a little disappointing because it sounds like it takes over more than it did on the first track.  If I ignore that, the song is good and the arrangement is really good here, even the dubstep breakdown is nice and non-threatening.

5. Midnight Angel

I’m liking that the album isn’t as bipolar with its tracklist like “SPIRIT” was and yet somehow I’m enjoying that hitomi chose to delve deeper in this dance/electro style and not really flip-flop between styles.  Midnight Angel tones things down slightly but taking out the heavier beats and giving us more of a synthpop track.  I’m neutral though with her vocals though since they’re more or less better than in “Heart Relocation”.

6. Countdowners

I LOVE the intro for Countdowners for some reason and I love the sass this song gives off from said arrangement as well.  I actually really like how hitomi sounds in this song since she’s singing in a deeper tone and the song just has this awesome flow to it.  This is just great!

7. Kongara Girl

Another Ke$ha sound-alike?  I guess I shouldn’t complain, but this song is kind of reminding me of a mix of “Ai to Kage” and “Kiseki to Kiseki”.  The song can be catchy, but the thing that bothered me is the auto-tune here.  It’s just laid on too thick on hitomi’s vocals and it really sounds too VOCALOID for me.  That just took me out of the song quite quickly.

8. Superwoman

Going back for an 80’s Kylie Minogue pop style, Superwoman is cheeky fun and brings back a cool electro track along and this had a pretty awesome beat to it.  It does feel as if the guitar is heavily a part of the arrangement but this is a great mix of sounds.  Might be a little weaker though since it doesn’t really change the game up in the song, but I liked this overall.

9. Nokosazu Tabe Slim Lil

At least we sort of get a break from the ear-piercing auto-tune with Nokosazu Tabe Slim Lil (strange title).  I’m enjoying what I hear because it’s a little more technopop than the other songs so that’s a plus.  It’s got a lot of tricks in its sleeves in the arrangement so I really found myself enjoying this track a lot.  Not a bad track overall!!!

10. Chiraval Tenkara Marusen

It seems we kind of go back in a full circle because Chiraval Tenkara Marusen reminds me of “↑↓” with the gritty synths and overall darker atmosphere.  Plus I really love the epic part where she goes ~Listen to my heartbeat, listen to my heartbeat~ and everything is quiet.  It’s just so cool and then it breaks back into the arrangement.  It’s really varies and really is another favorite on the album!

11. Love☆Horoscope

Then we finally get to the last song of the album and it’s oddly short being about under 3 minutes.  Unlike the tracks the came before, I think this is the clearest I’ve heard hitomi singing and also probably the least amount of electronic influences.  There’s still some don’t get me wrong, but it’s not at the forefront…actually this song has an R&B kind of setting…a little strange to see at the end of the album but….what can you do?

Tracks Recommended

  • ↑↓
  • Countdowners
  • Chiraval Tenkara Marusen
  • Nokosazu Tabe Slim Lil
  • Superwoman

Song of Avoidance

  • Kongara Girl

I love that hitomi fixed the BIGGEST problem from “SPIRIT” which was the whole bipolar-ness of rockin’ back and forth between rock and synths with Mobius (the way the album is said BTW).  She really stuck to one style on this album and it worked SOOO much better this time around.  The problem I had though this time was that the auto-tune killed a couple of songs (but then again made a couple awesome tracks as well) I guess it’s a hit or miss album, but I really liked what came off this album for the most part.

 

hitomi – SPIRIT October 9, 2012

Filed under: hitomi — solarblade @ 4:29 am

Track Listing

  1. Hands up!!
  2. Time Machine
  3. Private Flower
  4. 2010 ~Kanemoke no Heaven & Paradise~
  5. Lights on☆
  6. Spirit☆
  7. Sweet & Honey
  8. Love me♡ Love body☆
  9. Freedom☆
  10. Supernova
  11. Song for you☆
  12. Rollin’ wit da Homies ft. Rivers Cuomo

1. Hands up!!

Aiming to not start the album off slow, Hands up!! is kind of that party song that would get everyone on the dancefloor.  hitomi’s vocals are heavily filtered and auto-tuned, but the song has a gritty feel about it that I found enjoyable.  Plus, the song’s lyrics are ridiculously catchy!  It’s definitely an impressive song and the song has a lot of English (if not the entire song),

2. Time Machine

Getting a little more feisty, Time Machine moves away from the dance style to focus more on the rock perspective.  I actually think of Buono! when I hear the song because it has the pop/rock style going but it’s also genki and cute which is fitting for hitomi.  The only thing about the song that worries me, is the chorus only going through three notes which makes that a little bland but the song otherwise stood out to me.

3. Private Flower

LOL, we flip back to dance with the next track on the album which is pretty cool since Private Flower is kind of nice, but there are some problems.  I’m not a big fan of how her voice is treated in the song and some of it sounds messy in the arrangement as well.  It does kind of get better as it goes on, but not enough to really make me want to repeat it again.

4. 2010 ~Kanemoke no Heaven & Paradise~

So we get into the album’s shortest track at 2 and a half minutes, 2010 is poppy and has a similar feel to “Time Machine” with the use of guitars but there’s synths and hitomi is on some filters.  It’s not a bad song, but it just is a little too short (would’ve liked more out of the tune). 

5. Lights on☆

At first, I was wondering if the song had a bad quality, but no it’s the way the synths sound for the song which is a darker electro track (something I’ve been enjoying more from hitomi recently).  With hitomi also on auto-tune, the song really moves in a slick way and it just works for me…definitely a cool track.  Though the random rapping section was out of place >.<

6. Spirit☆

Then we get into the title track and I’m starting to see the pattern of synth songs and pop/rock tracks.  Spirit☆ would fit the archetype of songs that would sound like so much fun to hear live since it’s a jam for sure.  Not bad of a song abd like I said….maybe a live version should appear somewhere down the line.

7. Sweet & Honey

For the synths that fluorish the song, Sweet & Honey isn’t like “Hands up!!” but it’s a lot brighter and kind of charming in its own way.  hitomi’s lighter vocals really suit the song, but I think I could’ve lived without the layering effects on her for this one…it jsut seemed strange to listen to (at least up to the chorus),  Smooth and catchy, I kind of liked it!

8. Love me♡ Love body☆

I find myself enjoying Love me Love body right from the start since I enjoyed hearing hitomi without all the vocal gimmicks and this song has an edgier pop/rock sound which REALLY suits her this time around.  The power from the arrangement really gave hitomi that push to try to sound stronger than the guitars and drums…I loved this!

9. Freedom☆

Busting out another dance track, Freedom☆ is probably the cleanest of the dance tracks (next to Sweet & Honey).  Of course, I’m liking the arrangement and hooks of the song, but I kind of wished hitomi laid off the filters because I think it would’ve made the song cooler!  Minus my own meh thoughts on this, I did enjoy it for what it is.

10. Supernova

Supernova is more pop than rock and a tad slower than the other natural tracks on the album which is a nice change of pace.  That is until the chorus where the loud drums and guitars join in.  At this point of the album, I’m kind of annoyed of the back and forth between the song styles which I guess is nitpicking but still.  This song is good, but nothing like the other tracks on the album.

11. Song for you☆

I like that hitomi kind of breaks from the pattern for Song for you☆ since it’s the nearest to a ballad the album actually has.  I enjoyed the slower nature of the song and hitomi sounds rather nice in the song, but I don’t remember it much besides the fact that it’s the ballad of the album.

12. Rollin’ wit da Homies ft. Rivers Cuomo

What a WEIRD way to close the album out with a collboration with the lead singer from Weezer (that American band of course).  Of course hitomi isn’t strong in English so the song has a lot more Rivers in the song which isn’t surprising in the least.  The song itself actually screams Weezer too which is a little out of place on the album…weird way to close the album.

Tracks Recommended

  • Love me♡ Love body☆
  • Hands up!!
  • Lights on☆
  • Sweet & Honey
  • Freedom☆

Song of Avoidance

  • Rollin’ wit da Homies ft. Rivers Cuomo

As this is hitomi’s first album under a new indies label, SPIRIT is an album that had poor song placement for sure.  For 10 of the 12 tracks it just seemed to ricochets from electro/dance to pop/rock and it didn’t work because there was 0 flow to the album.  Though I do slightly prefer her electro stuff to her pop/rock, my favorite track was a pop/rock track (odd).  It’s not a bad album, but this could’ve had BETTER FLOW.