Kurayami Monogatari

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ikimono-gakari – Kaze ga Fuiteiru July 18, 2012

Filed under: ikimono-gakari — solarblade @ 7:00 am

Track Listing

  1. Kaze ga Fuiteiru
  2. Kaze ga Fuiteiru -instrumental-

1. Kaze ga Fuiteiru

I didn’t expect ikimono to get all grand and mighty with Kaze ga Fuiteiru which is over 7 and a half minutes long.  It starts with Kiyoe alone before the song actually opens up a bit more broadly.  I felt like when the guitars enter, I thought it was going to anthemic in style but seriously it feels like most of the A-sides from “Hajimari no Uta” as in it’s the typical ikimono mid-tempo song.  Add that it was longer than it should’ve been and you get a pretty boring and plain track (but I’m sure it’ll sell like hell on ORICON.

 

 

Honestly, I’m kind of tired of hearing ikimono-gakari doing these one-song singles because they could easily put a B-side on to cover up how bland Kaze ga Fuiteiru really is.  I mean I’m used to these songs back two eras ago but this is just tiring and making as long as it was was adding salt to the wound.  Yeah, it’s easy to say I just don’t like the song…

 

ikimono-gakari – Haru Uta April 24, 2012

Filed under: ikimono-gakari — solarblade @ 7:40 pm

Track Listing

  1. Haru Uta
  2. Haru Uta -instrumental-

1. Haru Uta

Doesn’t feel like “NEWTRAL” has been out that long hahah…but ikimono continues to release those singles and Haru Uta might be just the only song on the release but it’s a pleasant song to listen to and fits the season of Spring very well.  A breezy arrangement and Kiyoe’s vocals just seem to make it a happy-go-lucky song.  It’s a nice song to smile to for sure.

 

 

Quickly getting into a new album era, Haru Uta is a bit unfortunate to be like “Kimi ga Iru” and “Arigatou” in the fact they have no B-sides to represent them either.  I will say this song has a lot charm going for it and I’m sure it’ll sell pretty well despite how empty the single really is.

 

ikimono-gakari – NEWTRAL February 29, 2012

Filed under: ikimono-gakari — solarblade @ 9:53 am

Track Listing

  1. Aruite Ikou
  2. Warattetainda
  3. Itsudatte Bokura wa
  4. KISS KISS BANG BANG
  5. Ai ni Iku yo
  6. Chikyuu
  7. Sentimental Boyfriend
  8. Shiroi Diary
  9. Renshi
  10. NEW WORLD MUSIC
  11. Ai Kotoba
  12. Oyasumi

1. Aruite Ikou

Gotta love the fact that ikimono really wanted to get through most of the A-sides first on the album!  As the second single releasedm Aruite Ikou kicks things off quite lightly and is their best selling single of the era if I’m correct but ikimono’s ballads usually have that effect so I’m happy with this.  A bit long, but I loved Kiyoe’s sincerity in her voice, it just worked in her favor!

2. Warattetainda

A couple seconds longer than “Aruite Ikou”, Warattetainda is good being as long as it is because unlike the first track, this is actually upbeat and a lot more bright and fun to listen to.  Of course Kiyoe still sounds as lively as ever and she pulls a great performance here even though it’s been a while since this has been out.

3. Itsudatte Bokura wa

Fitting that Itsudatte Bokura wa would follow behind “Warattetainda” since they are both quite similar to one another.  Though I felt Kiyoe was being a little more daring with this song by hitting stronger notes and going a bit high there.  It’s definitely a favorite of the era (though there were no misses to begin with).  Fun song and loving the brass parts as well…good job here!

4. KISS KISS BANG BANG

Then we get a long stretch of new material from the trio starting with the album’s promotional song, KISS KISS BANG BANG which is even filled with more brass instruments and funky sounds that make it so exciting and lively!  Reminds me of “Kimagure Romantic” from two albums ago!  It’s got a bit of synths and once again you can tell Kiyoe was enjoying singing the song!  An early favorite on the album!

5. Ai ni Iku yo

Then the album comes to a halt going into our next song which is definitely a ballad.  I’m happy that it moves along in the song so it’s not like it suffers from the usual ballad problems.  It’s kind of one of those songs that would get BIG sales had it been a single so being said Ai ni Iku yo is actually nice to listen to!  Impressed even more towards the end…LOVE it!

6. Chikyuu

I was wondering when ikimono would actually pull one of their songs with a harmonica to be an album song and Chikyuu is representing that nicely.  Another slow song, I didn’t feel much for this one very much since it is mostly acoustic guitar and some low-laying strings.  It’s just floats on by in my ears.

7. Sentimental Boyfriend

At this point, I really wish the trio would get out of the ballad zone since it’s kind of putting me to sleep here.  Oh wait!  This song is a bit of tease now with that introduction.  Sentimental Boyfriend kind of turns into this acoustic mid-tempo track that’s got a bit of charm for it.  Kiyoe just sounds good here once again…dang I like this song too!

8. Shiroi Diary

For a title that means “White Diary”, it was surprising that it turns out that the song was going to be a ballad.  I do like the dramatics about the song that’s for sure but there’s not much else I can remember it by for right now…it just seems like good old ikimono-gakari if you catch my drift.

9. Renshi

At least things start to pick up again with Renshi which is probably the biggest surprise to the album.  First off, I’m surprised that the arrangement is all big band and quite bright.  Next thing is hearing Kiyoe singing in a deeper tone and then hitting these notes that I didn’t think she could pull off.  It’s just so out of their comfort zone but I loved this move and if they ever decide to move into a more jazzier setting and it’s like this…I’m ALL for it!!!

10. NEW WORLD MUSIC

It’s good that NEW WORLD MUSIC follows after “Renshi” since both songs are so different…though I have to say that NEW WORLD MUSIC is interesting because instead of a jazzy feel, we get a latin feel and I thought it made the song rather cute and such.  Though I did think Kiyoe stress her vocals a little bit here.  Still it’s my favorite A-side of the era here lol and once again a great follow-up after “Renshi”.

11. Ai Kotoba

After all that excitement and since we’re getting near the end of the album it’s obvious we were going to get more ballads.  Once again this’ll be memorable to the fans of their ballads while for me it’s alright but nothing I’ll be going back to.  I know it should sound amazing but that’s why “Ai ni Iku yo” is there haha.  Oh and by the way, longest song on the album XD.

12. Oyasumi

As the album’s final song, Oyasumi has a little more movement than “Ai Kotoba” that’s for sure but I’m pretty much continuing to kind of glaze over the song because it’s still a ballad hahah.  Though it’s charming and I like the arrangement of strings and acoustic guitar with a little keyboard here and there.  Kind of like a Disney song but less dramatic hahah.

Tracks Recommended

  • Renshi
  • Ai ni Iku yo
  • NEW WORLD MUSIC
  • KISS KISS BANG BANG
  • Itsudatte Bokura wa

Song of Avoidance

  • Chikyuu

 

Wow, I was pleasantly surprised by ikimono’s 5th album.  While I did like “Hajimari no Uta” it was piled with so many ballads that I felt overly tired after listening to it.  With NEWTRAL, it seems they breathed new life to their music and I was impressed with majority of the songs even moreso with the A-sides and certain album tracks.  It also does come with a second disc…but it’s just merely a live CD of their older tracks,  This is definitely *RECOMMENDED*

 

ikimono-gakari – Itsudatte Bokura wa January 18, 2012

Filed under: ikimono-gakari — solarblade @ 3:06 am

Track Listing

  1. Itsudatte Bokura wa
  2. Akai Kasa
  3. Itsudatte Bokura wa -instrumental-
  4. Akai Kasa -instrumental-

1. Itsudatte Bokura wa

I’m enjoying ikimono’s more upbeat songs as of recent and with their A-side for Itsudatte Bokura wa.  It sounds really happy but not to the point where it’s just happy happy.  I’m loving Kiyoe’s enthusiasm the most of the song as she gives a rather great performance.  Even throwing brass in the mix helped the song give more color!  Impressed…they haven’t disappointed me at all in the era.

2. Akai Kasa

While it isn’t as energetic as “Itsudatte Bokura wa”, Akai Kasa is still upbeat and has a rather happy flow to it that made me sway my head back and forth.  However, it doesn’t have a very memorable sound to it and kind of seems forgetful (though it does remind me of other songs of theirs).  Not their best, but certainly not their worst.

 

 

As the third and final single representing their upcoming “NEWTRAL” album, ikimono-gakari still is releasing rather good A-sides and with Itsudatte Bokura wa, it’s one of their best upbeat songs but I’m not sure where it lies since all their A-sides were impressive.  Akai Kasa is alright, but their B-sides usually aren’t all that great….hmmm weird LOL.

 

ikimono-gakari – Aruite Ikou November 22, 2011

Filed under: ikimono-gakari — solarblade @ 5:12 am

Track Listing

  1. Aruite Ikou
  2. my rain
  3. Aruite Ikou -instrumental-
  4. my rain -instrumental-

1. Aruite Ikou

Well, I guess it seems we’re back into ballad-land with Aruite Ikou.  When I finished my first listen through, it felt like something that would fit the holiday season because it has jingle bells, bells period, and strings to mix up with the usual sound of their ballads so it works to a better degree.  I mean it’s a bit long since it’s 6 minutes long, but it’s still a relaxing song and I could see myself drinking hot chocolate by the fire hahah.

2. my rain

The B-side of the single is more upbeat and more of the classic ikimono-style which is including harmonica ^_^.  I actually kind of liked this song since it’s mostly an acoustic guitar tune.  Kiyoe’s vocals sound more refined and pretty than in “Aruite Ikou” but the thing is is that simplicity can only go so far hah.  I liked it, but I’m sure it won’t be a lot of people’s taste.

 

 

ikimono-gakari’s second single might not be as exciting as “Waratteitanda/NEW WORLD MUSIC”, but this is a good second single.  Aruite Ikou pulls us back down to what they’ve done the best with ballads and this is pretty good.  More than most of the “Hajimari no Uta” ballads.  my rain to me was pretty nice for being acoustic and all that…but those kind of songs bored many people in older eras.  Not a bad release tbh.

 

ikimono-gakari – Warattetainda/NEW WORLD MUSIC July 19, 2011

Filed under: ikimono-gakari — solarblade @ 7:39 pm

Track Listing

  1. Warattetainda
  2. NEW WORLD MUSIC
  3. Warattetainda -instrumental-
  4. NEW WORLD MUSIC -instrumental-

1. Warattetainda

While it hasn’t been that long since we’ve had an upbeat song ikimono-gakari, Warattetainda sounds so refreshing for some reason even though “Kimi ga Iru” was nearly the same way.  Kiyoe sounds like her normal self and doesn’t really go and stress her vocals which is a plus.  I do wish there was something a bit louder about the track, but this isn’t bad at all and is a great song for ikimono to return to.

2. NEW WORLD MUSIC

Two upbeat songs?!?  This is something foreign for the trio!  NEW WORLD MUSIC did a much better job at catching my attention, especially with the whole latin vibe I get from it (partially because of the brass that’s included).  Kiyoe also sounds great and more lively as well.  Definitley the preferred song off this single!

 

 

After ikimono-gakari took a rather short hiatus after the release of the best-of, they return to the music scene with a great single in Warattetainda/NEW WORLD MUSIC.  It beats the past two singles simply by actually having more than one song and BOTH tracks are upbeat tunes in which the trio excels a lot in.  Great single and a good beginning of an era.

 

ikimono-gakari – Kimi ga Iru August 3, 2010

Filed under: ikimono-gakari — solarblade @ 4:55 pm

Track Listing

  1. Kimi ga Iru
  2. Kimi ga Iru -instrumental-

1. Kimi ga Iru

I’m so happy we have an upbeat A-side this time.  At first I thought it was going to be a ballad with Kiyoe opening the song like that, but when she finishes the rest of the trio joins in and I love the fact it’s happy and light-hearted (since the rest of the era has been ballads).  It might not be “Joyful” or “Kimagure Romantic” exciting, but it’s still enough to enjoy ^_^

 

 

Once again, I’m finding myself disappointed in the fact that this is the second single in a row without a B-side.  At least Kimi ga Iru is the best single of the era so far clearly because it’s not a ballad and I was starting to get bored with em.  Album time yet?