Kurayami Monogatari

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JERO – Yoake no Kaze January 10, 2012

Filed under: JERO — solarblade @ 1:27 am

Track Listing

  1. Yoake no Kaze
  2. Kouya no Hate ni
  3. Yoake no Kaze (Original Karaoke)
  4. Kouya no Hate ni (Original Karaoke)

1. Yoake no Kaze

I’m loving the brassy intro to Yoake no Kaze but then got confused because a woman adlibs the intro before JERO comes in.  It’s kind of funny because the song sounds like something I would hear in Kill Bill for some reason because of the rather feisty sound of it mixed with a latin bridge with flamencas and brass.  It’s different and very different for JERO but I really enjoyed this song. 

2. Kouya no Hate ni

I heard it was a cover, but I’m not sure who sung the original actually.  It follows in the footsteps of “Yoake no Kaze” by having a dramatic and brassy sound to it which is cool and all and this song sounds like one of the Western songs (you know like cowboys and the like).  However there’s electric guitars here which is the main difference.  I once again love JERO’s vocals since they emit good emotions at such a deep and low tone.  I still like the A-side more but this isn’t bad actually and I’m sure he did justice on the original.

 

 

As this is his first single before his second studio album, Yoake no Kaze was a giant change of sound for me and he sounded just right along with the new brass sound he incorporated on the single.  I really enjoyed Yoake no Kaze more than Kouya no Hate ni because the atmosphere of the track actually stuck in my mind easier…but both songs were of good quality!

 

JERO – Tada…Namida August 11, 2011

Filed under: JERO — solarblade @ 1:29 am

Track Listing

  1. Tada…Namida
  2. Kaenju
  3. Tada…Namida (Original Karaoke)
  4. Kaenju (Original Karaoke)

1. Tada…Namida

To me it seems that JERO is slowly trying to deviate from his enka style starting with Tada…Namida which is a straight up ballad.  The beginning sounds sad and quiet with just piano playing the melody and JERO singing the song.  His vocals sound really deep and full filling in the lonely tune.  After a while, strings fill in the other empty spaces and fills the song out more strongly.  It’s a pretty good ballad from him and his dramatic sadness through the song worked for me.

2. Kaenju

The B-side is more or what we’ve known from JERO with the inclusion of flutes and electric guitar together in the opening.  It’s not as slow as “Tada…Namida” but it’s still considered a ballad but with a little more oomph to it.  It’s also a bit more closer to some past songs so it does sound rather familiar, but it’s not bad and some of the instrumentation is really nice to listen to.

 

 

Since I’m guessing that this single is the first for the era (since his last release was a best-of album) Tada…Namida is actually quite good of a single and much better than his last few for sure.  The main song is a good dramatic ballad that might be a little outside the box for JERO but he pulled it off nicely.  Kaenju is more of what I liked in the last eras and he still can pull of enka songs as well.  Good start for an era!

 

JERO – COVERS3 ~Roots of JERO~ October 14, 2010

Filed under: JERO — solarblade @ 4:13 am

Track Listing

  1. Echigojishi no Uta
  2. Tsugaru Heiya
  3. America Hashi
  4. Chigiri
  5. Yozakura wo Shichi
  6. Tsugaru Koi Onna
  7. J

1. Echigojishi no Uta

I don’t know why, but I really like the opening for Echigojishi no Uta for some reason.  It might be the shakuhachi/flute mixed melody, but there’s just something good and folkish about it that sounds pretty.  Of course JERO comes in and sings and he sounds pretty good for the most part since he’s singing in his lower tone and he’s shown a bit of improvement in his vocals as well.

2. Tsugaru Heiya

I really don’t like when JERO pulls off songs like Tsugaru Heiya because the lack of a good arrangement kind of makes this song bery hard to listen to.  There is acoustic guitar and light percussion, but I was being annoyed by JERO’s overbearing vibrato to really care what was going on in the song.  Definitely not a good song for me.

3. America Hashi

It’s been a while since we’ve had a good enka tune and with America Hashi it happens quite nicely, even though JERO’s vocals are really unstable, but at least he has better control than he did in “Tsugaru Heiya”.  Otherwise, this is actually kind of a good song from him ^_^

4. Chigiri

If you thought “Tsugaru Heiya” was simple in it’s arrangement, Chigiri is even moreso and more emptier of a song than I thought it’d be.  At least it’s a song that builds up to something grand for sure.  While it isn’t anything jaw-dropping for being a ballad, it’s rather simple and nice.

5. Yozakura wo Shichi

Hey…is this ocarina that’s opening up Yozakura wo Shichi?  I don’t know why but of the songs so far, this one sounds pretty sad and depressing to listen to.  After the first verse the song really opens up into this edgy track that has a lot of electric guitar in it.  It’s pretty cool of a song and is the best this album has to offer.

6. Tsugaru Koi Onna

I can’t believe we have to deal with another one of these acoustic songs.  I really have nothing much to say about it because I barely remember anything from it.  I mean even when it does bring in strings and drums, I’m still not really impressed and I don’t think I can keep paying attention.

7. J

A song titled…J…talk about being off hahaha.  At least J sounds a bit more like gospel music because of the fact there’s BKGD vocals present in the song.  It still sounds rather plain and kind of one-dimensional, but at least it fully isn’t acoustic heavy like others

I don’t think it’s long enough to have the recs and avoidance so I won’t do em.  FINALLY IT LEAKED!!!!  Anyways, JERO’s third cover album isn’t really memorable for me and kind of just wants me to stop listening to him if he keeps this cover albums going on…There’s just isn’t a lot of anything interesting to make me enjoy things here…hope this is the last one for a WHILE.

 

JERO – Uso Naki July 13, 2010

Filed under: JERO — solarblade @ 6:46 pm

Track Listing

  1. Uso Naki
  2. Otoko Naki
  3. Shiki no Uta
  4. Uso Naki (Original Karaoke)
  5. Otoko Naki (Original Karaoke)
  6. Shiki no Uta (Original Karaoke)

1. Uso Naki

I thought the opening to Uso Naki was pretty awesome with that strings line and then hearing some different instruments being used besides the usualy enka stuff was kind of interesting.  JERO’s vocals also sound a lot better than before so he’s fix that problem quite nicely.  Alright, this is definitely his best A-side he’s released and even the electric guitar isn’t bothersome!!!

2. Otoko Naki

When I say the title, I immediately was thinking that this single was going to be one of those same melody, different arrangement kind of deals but I don’t hear any of it.  I do like that the song is a bit more darker overall than “Uso Naku” simply because of the guitar’s low growling.  I think I enjoyed this a tad bit more than the A-side but only slightly since the instruments meshed better.

3. Shiki no Uta

Shiki no Uta sounds like you’re usual enka tune which is more or less a good thing since the other two barely had any enka referencing going in them.  There’s of course strings and guitars like every other JERO tune and I’m not sure I’m feeling it as much.

 

 

JERO really took his time to release this single.  Though for the most part the single was enjoyable since I really like Uso Naki and Otoko Naki, but Shiki no Uta was just terribly plain and boring for me.  Also I hope his 3rd cover album leaks because it was released on the same day that this was….

 

JERO – covers 2 September 27, 2009

Filed under: JERO — solarblade @ 4:04 am

covers2

Track Listing

  1. Matteiru Onna
  2. Shishuuki
  3. Aijin
  4. Orizuru
  5. Rashoumon
  6. Tasogare
  7. Yukiguni
  8. Hajimete no Machi de

1. Matteiru Onna

I’m pretty sure starting up his second cover album, JERO had to choose an explosive song to open it up right?  Well, it works for me because his vocals are getting even more stronger and while he still loves to use vibrato every chance he has (Enka is known for that problem).  I still enjoyed the fact there were dramatic strings found all over and the music was enough for me to enjoy fully.  Good start.

2. Shishuuki

The next one is an interesting tune.  The beginning had this Persian-like theme to it that sounded like it’d fit in “Aladdin” or something.  Beyond that, the song becomes rather quiet and flows the same throughout.  Now you might be thinking *is this a bad song?* but it’s not bad, though JERO could’ve done a lot more to make the song a bit more stronger.

3. Aijin

Then Aijin pops up and has this really laidback feel to it.  It might be the distant guitar strums or just the arrangement, but it’s oddly calming and JERO isn’t all over the place with his vibrato which is obviously a plus.  I think right now this song is at the top of good enka songs (if that’s what it is).

4. Orizuru

Then Orizuru pops up and it relatively sounds like a fuller version of “Aijin” with that islandy sound beginning it.  Then comes strings, and electric guitar to fill out the other empty spaces.  There’s a little bit of layering going with his vocals and while the arrangement is dramatic, I just thought this was a more profound version of “Aijin”.

5. Rashoumon

The first thing I thought of when I saw the title of the song was Geese Howard’s uber powerful attack he uses in various fighters he’s been in.  Anyway, Rashoumon has a stronger feel and doesn’t sound like enka, but then again JERO’s vocals is the only sure way to really officialize that he’s enka.  It’s a good track all-around

6. Tasogare

Way too many artists are using Tasogare as a title bleh.  Tasogare opens up with a beautiful violin solo and after that quick moment this lonely acoustic guitar plays this melody that sounds sad and depressing.  Then we have to listen to JERO’s vibrato again which isn’t fitting IMO to this kind of song, I think you should let females stick with this. 

7. Yukiguni

I’m not really sure if getting towards the end of the cover album is making me more bored with each track, but Yukiguni is amazingly boring.  It seemed like it was thrown together in like 5 minutes.  I am totally not impressed with this song and JERO really didn’t try with this song.  BORING!

8. Hajimete no Machi de

Our final track, sadly doesn’t exactly fix things up from the previous tunes issues, but the song has a bluesy feel that oddly fits, that it when JERO comes in and mildly ruins the mood.  I guess it if was more of an instrumental, it would’ve worked nicely, but nawwwww.  I’m sorry this song would’ve been better without him.

Tracks Recommended

  • Aijin
  • Matteiru Onna
  • Orizuru

Song of Avoidance

  • Yukigumi

Being the second cover album JERO has done (I’ll review the first one eventually).  Back to the sequel, covers 2 was at first a really good album, but then past halfway the songs started to get duller and duller and JERO started to creep back into his Umiyuki vocals which annoyed me.  He needs to go forward not backwards, here’s hoping his sophomore album fixes this.

 

JERO – Tsumeato August 22, 2009

Filed under: JERO — solarblade @ 2:35 am

cover

Track Listing

  1. Tsumeato
  2. Tegami wo Kaite yo
  3. Tsumeato (Original Karaoke)
  4. Tegami wo Kaite yo (Original Karaoke)

1. Tsumeato

Tsumeato goes back to his enka roots for his A-side.  I really like the orchestral feel to the song and JERO does an alright job singing this song as well, but he does have some really bad sliding issues going through the song.  I still feel like the electric guitar seems a bit too much and kind of unfitting for this type of song, but still alright.

2. Tegami wo Kaite yo

The B-side is different, almost a bit gospel-like when compared againsst “Tsumeato”.  Then the song gets really strange as marimba is added to make the song sound a little more goofy and poppy.  JERO’s vocals doesn’t sound as exciting as the arrangement.  Maybe the outrageous sound will boost JERO, but the beginning was nothing for me.  Strange tune.

 

 

Tsumeato for me was actually a step down from his last single “Yancha Michi”.  I have to say that the songs on the single were more bizarre then anything as the arrangements were totally different from each other.  The title track was true enka, but the guitar sounded out of place.  The B-side though was just odd for me….oh well right?

 

JERO – Yancha Michi April 17, 2009

Filed under: JERO — solarblade @ 5:30 am
Tags: ,

yanchamichi

Track Listing

  1. Yancha Michi
  2. TOKYO Ginga
  3. Yancha Michi (Original Karaoke)
  4. TOKYO Ginga (Original Karaoke)

1. Yancha Michi

Wow after “Yakusoku”, I didn’t expect something from JERO to release something so fast.  Honestly, if this is enka then I don’t really hear the line that connects to the line because it seems more like something that could be mainstream.  There’s a lot of female BKGD singers with the electric guitar playing along with some nice strings tying things together.  As I’m listening on, JERO is becoming more like an enka singer with his annunciation through some of the words.  Good song though.

2. TOKYO Ginga

Just like his last B-side, “Hare Butai”…TOKYO Ginga was written and produced by Ataru Nakamura which is pretty interesting and I can really tell this is her stuff because as a ballad, it flows just right and there’s a lot of harmonization going on and JERO is doing just exactly that.  I sense a little bit of jazz infused in the song so I naturally enjoyed the song.

 

 

JERO’s new era begins on a pretty stable note as he continues to release exciting tracks.  Yancha Michi was a little new to his repitoire and I loved it while TOKYO Ginga was a nice ballad to listen to.  His vocals still needs work, but he’s getting there.  Good start to a new era.