Kurayami Monogatari

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Junko Akimoto – 24-ji no Kodoku July 28, 2012

Filed under: Junko Akimoto — solarblade @ 7:36 pm

Track Listing

  1. 24-ji no Kodoku
  2. Omoide Serenade
  3. 24-ji no Kodoku (Original Karaoke)
  4. 24-ji no Kodoku (Ippanyou Karaoke Ham’on Age)
  5. Omoide Serenade (Original Karaoke)

1. 24-ji no Kodoku

 I was happy to hear that Junko’s next A-side kind of surprised me since it reminded me of her big single a couple years back.  It’s calming and has a pretty arrangement that contains a lot of strings, castanets, and accordion as well.  I actually enjoyed how this tune flowed and Junko’s vocals are complimeting it all so it works altogether.

2. Omoide Serenade

As for the B-side, Omoide Serenade has more of a calming effect going on which is pretty nice as the opposite to “24-ji no Kodoku”.  I think the song was more to show off Junko’s vocals a little bit more than the music being the standout song.  It’snice but I like the A-side’s sound a lot more.

 

 

As Junko starting her 5th round of singles before the 5th album, 24-ji no Kodoku is nice and is better than some of the other singles she’s released.  The A-side is probably the best A-side I’ve heard from her since “Ai no Mama de…”.  The B-side though is kind of forgetful even though it sounds nice, it just kind of acts as background music TBH lol.

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Junko Akimoto – Karenai Hana August 26, 2011

Filed under: Junko Akimoto — solarblade @ 7:26 pm

Track Listing

  1. Karenai Hana
  2. Precious ~Aitakute~
  3. Karenai Hana (Original Karaoke)
  4. Karenai Hana (Ippanyou Karaoke Han’on Age)
  5. Precious ~Aitakute~ (Original Karaoke)

1. Karenai Hana

I think Junko is trying to recapture the flame that made “Ai no Mama de…” so damn popular two years back.  Karenai Hana isn’t as forward with the accordion like her past song but it’s a pretty song nonetheless since strings play a bigger role than before.  I really like Junko’s vocals though since they have the right emotion and she also flows pretty nicely.  It isn’t as good “Sono Hana wa…” but I’d say it’s pretty consistent of A-sides for this era.

2. Precious ~Aitakute~

As for the B-side, Precious starts out like some kind of easy listening-type of song since it doesn’t feel like her normal style of music like she’s been doing with the previous B-sides.  It’s way simpler than “Karenai Hana” in the arrangement department but it gives Junko a little more room to show off her vocals even though she really doesn’t do anything huge.  I will say that the whole ~just fall in love~ lyrics are cute and fitting with how soft this is.  I liked it.

 

 

Closing out Junko’s 4th era, Karenai Hana is pretty good when set next to the previous two singles that make up the era.  I mean the lead track is prolly the best of them, but I still think “Kakurenbo” from her last single is still the best B-side.  I guess it’s alright but it’s just that to me lol

 

Junko Akimoto – Sono Hana wa… ~Kawaranai~ February 28, 2011

Filed under: Junko Akimoto — solarblade @ 3:34 am

Track Listing

  1. Sono Hana wa… ~Kawaranai~
  2. Kakurenbo
  3. Sono Hana wa… ~Kawaranai~ (Orignal Karaoke)
  4. Sono Hana wa… ~Kawaranai~ (Ippanyou Karaoke)
  5. Kakurenbo (Original Karaoke)

1. Sono Hana wa… ~Kawaranai~

Sono Hana wa… sounds really pretty to me for some reason, but it also sounds nothing like her previous A-sides since it sounds live-ish and more flowing as well.  Her vocals really seem to stand out in the song as hse gives a pretty sweet performance.  I love the stringwork and beautiful piano melody that mixes up with shimasen and other instruments later on in the song.  It’s dramatic, but pretty sweet ^_^.

2. Kakurenbo

For the B-side, Kakurenbo adds in electric guitar to the mix and for the most part the song seems to be more lighter in style and mood, almost having an entirely different feel.  Even the added harmonica gave the mood an interesting twist.  I actually like this kind of upbeat and fun nature of the song. 

WAY TO RELEASE QUIETLY EH?  Anyways, Junko’s 2nd single of the era turned out nice in my opinion.  I like the ballad that represents the A-side quite nicely and it was a lot more moving than previous works (questionable against “Ai no Mama de…” though.  Kakurenbo though is probably her best B-side yet with the fun instrumental and fun atmosphere it gave off.  Album time?

 

Junko Akimoto – Ichimai no Shashin April 23, 2010

Filed under: Junko Akimoto — solarblade @ 6:16 am

Track Listing

  1. Ichimai no Shashin
  2. Hoshi Furu Yoru ni…
  3. Ichimai no Shashin (Original Karaoke)
  4. Ichimai no Shashin (Ippanyou Karaoke Han’on Age)
  5. Hoshi Furu Yoru ni… (Original Karaoke)

1. Ichimai no Shashin

After the rather nice “Tasogare Love again”, Ichimai no Shashin continues this rather smooth feel that we got with the last A-side.  Maybe a little more sadder, but it also feels like something I would’ve heard a long time ago since it has the oldies feel to it and I kind of like that a lot.  I don’t know what kind of guitar that is playing in the song but it was kind of cool.  Junko’s vocals are once again pretty to listen to and deep as well.  Good A-side

2. Hoshi Furu Yoru ni…

As for the B-side, Hoshi Furu Yoru ni… might be a little more upbeat than “Ichimai no Shashin” but I didn’t really find anything to exciting about the song.  I mean ok, Junko’s vocals are pretty good and the woodwind solo was a nice touch as well, but this sounds like something I already heard numerous tumes before.  Might grow stronger over time, but right now this really didn’t catch my attention.

 

 

After going off on that jazz tangent, Junko returns to what she does best and Ichimai no Shashin hits the spot quite nicely.  I think Junko’s done really well with A-sides since her debut and that’s def a good thing.  Although Hoshi Furu Yoru ni… is a little sameish, it’s alright.  Maybe another single like this would be nice before the official 4th album.

 

Junko Akimoto – encore ~Jazz Standard~ April 13, 2010

Filed under: Junko Akimoto — solarblade @ 7:01 am

Track Listing

  1. Besame Much
  2. Misty
  3. Autumn Leaves
  4. After You’ve Gone
  5. Mamma
  6. Summertime
  7. Lover, Come Back To Me
  8. I’ll Wait For You
  9. Bei Mir Birst Du Schon
  10. Exactly Like You
  11. Love Is A Many Splendored Thing

1. Besame Mucho

Starting off this jazz album, Besame Mucho opens up with a beautiful string opening before changing the solemn mood into a rather sultry jazz setting.  Now, unlike Aibon’s recent jazz endeavor, Junko’s vocals fit a whole lot better with the arrangement and her English as well is pretty sharp, though still not perfect.  The mood is quite soothing and the piano solo was quite nice.  Nice opening song.

2. Misty

Oh god that low bass note was cool.  Misty seems to fix all the vocal minorities that the last song had and give it that Charlie Brown feel going and we get another sweet song from Junko.  Better was the fact that there was saxophone that was included which also ended up with the solo this time and I liked that alot.  Definitely enjoyed this song.

3. Autumn Leaves

Unlike the two previous songs, Autumn Leaves is actually set in Japanese, which to me surprised me a little bit since I wasn’t expecting such a hybrid between the two languages on this album.  Junko’s vocals are of course better, but I have no idea why the song didn’t really sound jazzy until she started singing in English.  Strange idea, but it was pretty good and when the song actually started going things cleared up.

4. After You’ve Gone

I’m starting to notice that so far the songs haven’t really been upbeat, but at least After You’ve Gone isn’t totally boring.  First thing I noticed after the arrangement is the weird way Junko actually pronounces ~aching~ and made it sound like ~arching~…Really Junko?  I’m not sure why that was the only mistake she makes.  After the rather short drum solo, the song gets more faster and upbeat.  I thought that everything beyond that was gold.

5. Mamma

I’m not sure what the song’s language is set in, but I think she’s singing the song in Italian or French and with that, she impressed quite a bit with this more happier tone.  It’s a rather fun song and with the bongos being present, I was happy.  The 2nd verse though is in Japanese which gave even more color to it.  I liked this song quite a bit.

6. Summertime

Opening with a darker sounding piano line, Summertime should feel somewhat happy, but Junko made it seem rather sad and depressing which is kind of a paradox I guess.  The song is rather slow and drags on a bit too much for me to carry my attention along.  Sorry, but the song just was too boring.

7. Lover, Come Back To Me

At least they made up for it on our next track which is exciting and full of life.  I love Junko’s sultryness in this song and she gave it her all in the song and I LOVED IT!  It could also be also the jazz effects that caught me in the trap.  Even the brass solo was enough for me to jam along.  I ended up loving the song the most on the album!

8. I’ll Wait For You

Another piano opening appears for I’ll Wait For You and by the opening stanza of lyrics, it sounds just as droopy and sad as “Summertime” was which could be pretty bad.  Lucky for me, this song isn’t as boring because there’s xylophone and accordion present to give it a more lounge-like sound.  I was having fun with this little ditty and Junko’s vocals were cutting nice for the song as well!

9. Bei Mir Birst Du Schon

Based off a Yiddish tune but with a title that’s German?  I find that a little odd that there’d be something like that going on.  Opening with a trumpet solo that’s been muffled by a mute, Junko is singing acappella to the trumpet at first, I thought that was clever, but it does show Junko’s Engrish pretty boldly and I could somewhat tell what she’s saying, but oh well.  After that opening section, the song gets a little more sexier so it got a bit better. 

10. Exactly Like You

I love the bass string, just epicly opens up this track.  Basically being the main instruement, it stood out a whole lot more than Junko did…When you get more exposure than the singer, you knows there’s something wrong.  Still nice, just not a strong song for her.

11. Love Is A Many Splendored Thing

Interestingly the shortest song on the album, Love Is A Many Splendored Thing ends the album off quite nicely.  It might not be as exciting as previous songs, but I do enjoy how Junko sung it quite smoothly and with a lot passion. 

Tracks Recommended

  • Lover, Come Back To Me
  • Misty
  • Mamma
  • I’ll Wait For You

Song of Avoidance

  • Summertime

Between Aibon’s and Junko’s, it’s tough.  Junko’s was more serious and since she’s got a bit more on her side to begin with, I wasn’t surprise this was to me the better album. but Ai’s was good too.  There wasn’t too many problems within this album, but she could’ve added a bit more spice to it so it didn’t come off as a lil boring.

 

Junko Akimoto – Aisuru Hito no Tame ni September 24, 2009

Filed under: Junko Akimoto — solarblade @ 4:23 am

aisurunohitonotameni

Track Listing

  1. Woman, Nin Toshite
  2. Kokoro no Guitar
  3. Time Machine de Ai ni Kite
  4. Sabaku no Bara no You ni…
  5. Toki no Scenario
  6. Ai ga Jukusu Made [with Yuutaira Hanoka]
  7. Kanabun no Blues
  8. Nidome no Hatsukoi
  9. Ai no Uta Uri
  10. Niji no Kanata
  11. Stay~Ika Naide
  12. Tasogare Love again

1. Woman, Nin Toshite

I’m still getting used to enka as a style to listen to, but it’s so much easier than listening to JERO.  Aisuru Hito no Tame ni begins with Woman, Nin Toshite and as the first vocal track, Junko clearly impressed me with her smooth and sultry vocals.  The horns add this mysterious feeling to the song that sounds cool.  Good start for the album.

2. Kokoro no Guitar

The next track off the album, Kokoro no Guitar is a bit more of a ballad track with of course acoustic guitar and piano.  It’s a little bit empty, but when the solo’s without her appear, the song sound fuller.  So in honesty, this song is a little bland.

3. Time Machine de Ai ni Kite

I really like the trumpet solo at the beginning that comes with the ticking.  It also sounds like Junko is trying for a more happier tune and she got it somewhat right.  Her vocals do sometimes sound a little vague and monotone, but somehow it’s really nice to see a little bit of fun in her songs.  An early favorite.

4. Sabaku no Bara no You ni…

I really like the desert theme of our next track.  You can thank the brass group for putting that image into my head.  Junko also sounds so much more livelier here and shows some sweet singing here.  Could it be the smartest song she’s released besides “Ai no Mama de…”?

5. Toki no Scenario

Rather having positive feeling ballads, Toki no Scenario proves to be the other way around.  It sounds quite foreboding and Junko emanates sadness quite smoothly.  The song doesn’t lose any steam and it’s nice that she’s getting more louder and profound as time goes by the song, it’s a nice touch…Good tune.

6. Ai ga Jukusu Made [with Yuutaria Hanaoka]

The next track looks to be a collaboration.  It is rather a more chilled version of “Woman, Nin Toshite” and that might be nice to know, but Hanaoka ruins the song with his nasally vocals that sound terrible mixing with Junko’s nice vocals.  It creates a rather uncomfortable rift.  I’m not enjoying this song much.

7. Kanabun no Blues

It’s the first time hearing Junko under an electric guitar arrangement and it’s rather reminescent to some of JERO’s song becuase they also have an electric guitar leading.  It’s rather strange hearing Junko going through the chorus repeating ~bun, bun, bun~.  It’s rather distracting, but it has it’s own charm that’s catchy.

8. Nidome no Hatsukoi

So many slow songs on this album.  Nidome no Hatsukoi has a bit of an islandy sound to it that made me interested to hear where it was going.  It once again shows Junko singing smoothly and fits the mood just right.  Wished it was a little more upbeat, but what can you do about it?

9. Ai no Uta Uri

I really liked the fact she added the Russian-like B-side from “Tasogare Love again”.  Maybe it’s the fact she used accordion again to make it stand out on the album, but damn was this one of her better songs off the album.  She sounds really pretty in this song and the arrangement sounds adventurous almost, so good!

10. Niji no Kanata

I think it’s a first to hear an orchestral opening to Junko’s album and with a nice acoustic guitar opening to push that idea forward too.  Sadly, it’s rather bland since there’s already ballads all over the album, and this hardly stood out to me.

11. Stay~Ika Naide

Is it funny that I think this track reminds me of Dollet music from Final Fantasy VIII?  Besides Junko’s singing the song reminds me of that tune.  After the opening, the songs just goes into blandville again since nothing besides the opening stood out again. 

12. Tasogare Love again

Ending off the album is the era’s only A-side.  I just love the flow of this song and Junko did a great job singing along with the melody.  I still think the chorus is the catchiest part of the song and oddly enough her strongest part.  While it may be the loner single for the album, she chose a great song to represent it.

Tracks Recommended

  • Sabaku no Bara no You ni…
  • Time Machine de Ai ni Kite
  • Tasogare Love again
  • Ai no Uta Uri

Song of Avoidance

  • Ai ga Jukusu Made [with Yuutaira Hanoka]

Junko’s 3rd album didn’t show as much personality as “Second Story” but at least it’s still an alright group of tracks that shows Junko off.  It’s sad that the lone single altogether is better than the album tracks here cept two that really stood out.  Maybe it’s me but she quickly is past her high-time after “Ai no Mama de…”

 

Junko Akimoto – Tasogare Love again July 8, 2009

Filed under: Junko Akimoto — solarblade @ 5:34 am

tasogareloveagain

Track Listing

  1. Tasogare Love again
  2. Ai no Uta Uri
  3. Tasogare Love again (Original Karaoke)
  4. Tasogare Love again (Ippanyou Karaoke)
  5. Ai no Uta Uri (Original Karaoke)

1. Tasogare Love again

Ahhhh, I’m not sure after the amazing “Ai no Mama de…” It’s hard to really follow-up with something just as amazing.  Tasogare Love again, it’s another ballad from Junko and features a lot of accordion and there’s even BKGD vocalists as well.  I kind of like the mid-tempo sound and at different points it sounds a little bit like a waltz in the chorus.  I’m a sucker for that kind of stuff, so I naturally like this track.  Junko’s vocals are as usual quite nice sounding as well. 

2. Ai no Uta Uri

Our B-side, is a bit more upbeat, but there’s something about it that just screams perfection to me.  It’s got a Russian sound, acoustic guitar playing, and seriously the different areas of music is quite intriguing and surprised that it’s kind of catchy as well.  Even though it doesn’t ave a clear climax to it and basically stays at the same pace most of the song it’s a good B-side.

 

 

I know this isn’t “Ai no Mama de…”, but this was a great single to start up a new era for Junko here.  Tasogare Love again basically made enka sound a bit waltzy for the era and she pulled it odd gracefully.  Ai no Uta Uri on the other hand kept a good punch in the music and the song sounded ethnic and nice.  I think she’s still got the flame to take over Oricon again.