Kurayami Monogatari

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Jin Akanishi – JAPONICANA March 14, 2012

Filed under: Jin Akanishi — solarblade @ 8:33 pm

Track Listing

  1. Sun Burns Down
  2. California Rock feat. Prophet
  3. That’s What She Said feat. Uffie
  4. Like You
  5. Set Love Free
  6. Aphrodisiac feat. Static Revenger
  7. Oowah
  8. TEST DRIVE feat. Jason Derülo (7th Heaven Mix)
  9. Tell Me Where (bonus track, both editions)
  10. Yellow Gold (Regular only)
  11. Magnitude (Regular only)
  12. Body Talk (Regular only)
  13. Pin Dom (Limited only)
  14. Bass Go Boom (Limited only)

1. Sun Burns Down

Kicking Jin’s English album off, Sun Burns Down was the second single representing the album and I actually kind of like the song when I first heard since the style was kind of danceable and full of life.  I’m surprised at Jin’s English…I mean it’s not top notch but for this I can understand most of the song.  This was a pretty good first track ^_^

2. California Rock feat. Prophet

The next song on the album is kind of an odd song to me.  I mean besides the overly sexually-charged lyrics, California Rock also kind of has this odd style in the verses because it’s almost charging across a dubstep style…mixed with heavily auto-tuned vocals.  I feel like this is pretty disappointing for some reason.  Prophet’s rapping didn’t really help the situation and kind of made me a little more than frustrated here.

3. That’s What She Said feat. Uffie

If you thought the lyrics from the previous track were off the mark, this song will make you think twice because it’s downright raunchy and just all kinds of 0.o.  I don’t know what to exactly say to the lyrics in the song because they are so shenanigan-worthy but at the same time I also can’t believe Jin would actually agreed to the song.  Of course Uffie is the girl vocals and she doesn’t help the weirdness.  Then again hearing ~swallow swallow swallow x 100~ is kind humorous.  I know I’m going to get flak, but the music is kind of edgy and does make the lyrics feel more sludgy and toxic almost.  It might be the song that’ll turn people off from the album but at the same time…it’s a different side of him (and he wrote this I think)…shocking!!!!

4. Like You

After all those upbeat songs, it’s time to take a chill pill with Like You which is definitely a R&B tune for him with a nice relaxing arrangement.  The thing is that being after “That’s What She Said” is kind of abrasive and is a GIANT 180 of moods and style.  I do think it’s nice that he mentioned Michael Jackson so that’s obviously a thumbs up here.  I kind of forget the song after a while because the arrangement feels overused (not Jin’s fault)…kind of like any other R&B tune out here in the West.

5. Set Love Free

I will say that moving into Set Love Free was a nice choice because it’s a little more brighter than previous songs and kind of poppy in a good way.  Also shows off Jin’s range quite nicely.  Plus the lyrics are kind of sweet in a good way.  Not too bad of a song right here.

6. Aphrodisiac feat. Static Revenger

Our next collaboration between Jin and DJ producer Static Revenger for Aphrodisiac and I have to say this was pretty awesome for these two to get together.  It’s pretty much a match made in heaven because the electro beat is pretty hot and Jin’s singing pretty solid.  Plus the way he sings ~you’re my aphrodisiaaaaaac~ is pretty SWEEET!  Yeah, this song is ranked high on the album for me!

7. Oowah

Oowah is kind of interesting to listen to as well.  It’s kind of like “Set You Free” simce tjey both have a certain brightness to them that makes them stand out amongst the album.  It’s nice but I do consider the other song just a bit more for some reason…maybe it’s the way that he says ~oowaaaah~ just rubs me the wrong way.

8. TEST DRIVE feat. Jason Derülo (7th Heaven Mix)

As the original one wasn’t used to promote Jin’s debut they got the one that did.  As the song that closes the American edition of the album, TEST DRIVE I felt was a weird choice to debut with to be honest because despite having a well-known person in Jason Derülo (who does his trademark intro name), it just seems weird for me.  I don’t know but the aggressive nature does stand out to me and I don’t know…it’s different XD

9. Tell Me Where

However, the Japanese got spoiled with 6 bonus track the limited with the regular edition getting four, while the limited gets three.  The bonus track found on both editions though is Tell Me Where.  It follows pretty nicely after “TEST DRIVE” since they both have a heavier sound than most of the album which nice.  I will say hearing the auto-tune being abused again does kill me on the inside but I don’t know.  It just sounds like a “TEST DRIVE” clone from here…without the collaboration XD

10. Yellow Gold

Then we get Yellow Gold which kind of also sounds like “TEST DRIVE” met “Oowah” but that’s alright since I like the fact that it’s a bit more louder and more like an anthem tune.  It was nice overall but I felt like Jin’s accent stands out a bit more than normal which isn’t so good.  I still do love the chanting style so it’s not all that bad.

11. Magnitude

Abusing auto-tune again I see…Magnitude would’ve been pretty good if it hadn’t depended so much on the vocal stuff.  I will say the futuristic arrangement made it pop out but I felt like it still lacked a bit of something when it came right down to it.  Unfortunately I wasn’t too impressed with this song.

12. Body Talk

The final track on the Regular edition, Body Talk is a nice way to close the album off because it one of the few ballads Jin’s album had to offer.  It’s a little cheesy but I can deal with that because it sounds like he put some effort in the song…though I do question the higher pitched voice here though.  Jin I guess is that versatile huh? 

13. Pin Dom

On the Limited edition, Pin Dom starts the two exclusive songs.  I kind of think that this is a grittier and force-heavy “Set Love Free” because of that twinkling melody that plays behind the aggressive synths.  I do like the energy behind because it’s as loud as “Yellow Gold” was but I don’t know what Jin is really saying in the verses hahaha the auto-tune again I guess.

14. Bass Go Boom

Interesting choice to close the Limited I guess.  Bass Go Boom is another song that’s pretty club friendly but I think it’s missing an energetic feel in the verses.  It only seems to get better during the chorus…but one again I can’t really understand what the hell he’s saying.  Ehhhh….not a very memorable songs.

Tracks Recommended

  • Aphrodisiac feat. Static Revenger
  • Sun Burns Down
  • Yellow Gold
  • That’s What She Said feat. Uffie
  • Set Love Free

Song of Avoidance

  • California Rock feat. Prophet

Ahhhh another artist that’s gone the way to attack the American waves.  Jin’s debut album (talking about only the first 8 songs) is actually not that bad.  I mean given his accent is pretty much more noticeable than BoA’s, this wasn’t bad and what was given here was quite nice even though That’s What She Said and California Rock are the sole reasons it got the Parental Advisory sticker.  The Japanese bonus tracks were mostly throwaway unfortunately and didn’t help the album out at all (with the small exception to Yellow Gold).  If you like Akanishi than this might surprise you but it’s definitley a farcry from his JPN releases and the JE stuff he’s done in the past.