Kurayami Monogatari

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Kobushi Factory – Seishun no Hana/Start Line February 23, 2020

Filed under: Kobushi Factory — solarblade @ 12:21 am

seishunnohana

Track Listing

  1. Seishun no Hana
  2. Start Line
  3. Seishun no Hana (Instrumental)
  4. Start Line (Instrumental)

1. Seishun no Hana

Boy, did I get worried when I saw the title of this song and immediately thought of “Kobushi no Hana”, but luckily the song isn’t a ballad and kind of sits at a mid-tempo/upbeat song that’s a little more akin to something like “Haru Urara” since they’re both Springtime songs.  There’s something about the song that feels both sentimental and kind of generic in a way.  I think it’s OK and the light pop/rock vibes is OK, but nothing that really pops out to me.

2. Start Line

As for the other A-side, Start Line is a bit more along my tastes bringing back the more rockin’ style to the group which actually reminds me of “Shalala! Yareru Hazu sa” considering its similar topic here.  I’m really loving the fact that all 5 members are giving such hefty solos that really show off their vocal talents (especially for both Minami and Sakurako, they impressed me the most out of the song.  Despite that it’s another one of those be your best and look forward to the future kind of tracks that for whatever reason Kobushi Factory keeps getting, this one is pretty good overall!

 

 

If I had to be honest, I would say this single is pretty tame for the group, it’s kind of the similar feelings I had with “Oh No Ounou / Haru Urara” with the upbeat rockin’ track and the softer springtime song but reversed.  Both songs though feel similar to past tracks they’ve done which is kind of a bummer too.  Though it kind of sucks…

Because this is also Kobushi’s final single as a group as they’ll be disbanding in March leaving only Reirei to remain in H!P.  I didn’t think it’d happen so soon after their sophomore album, but long and behold it’s going to happen.  Not even a best album to kind of wrap things up either, but I don’t think they needed one to begin with (although T&C Bomber did that).  Just sad that the group couldn’t keep up after all the drama in the group, hopefully the remaining members will go onto have good careers (though I think Sakurako is the only one fully retiring).

 

Kobushi Factory – Kobushi Dai Ni Maku October 3, 2019

Filed under: Kobushi Factory — solarblade @ 7:25 am

kobushidainimaku

Track Listing

  1. Kore Kara da!
  2. Come with me
  3. Ashita Tenki ni Naare
  4. Haru Urara
  5. Suki Kamo Shirenai
  6. Keseyashinai Kimochi
  7. Kitto Watashi wa
  8. Hirakinaocchae!
  9. Naseba Naru
  10. Yes! We are family ~Kobushi ver.~
  11. Oh No Ounou
  12. Unlucky no Jijou
  13. Kame ni Nare!
  14. Shalala! Yareru Hazu sa (2019 ver.)
  15. Dokan to BREAK!
  16. Ashita no Watashi wa Kyo Yori Kirei
  17. Yes! We are family ~FC Machida Zelvia ver.~ (bonus track)

CD2 Acapella Disc

  1. Nen ni wa Nen
  2. Chotto Guchoku ni! Chototsu Moushin
  3. GO TO THE TOP!!
  4. Samba! Kobushi Janeiro 2019
  5. Sakura Night Fever
  6. LOVE Machine

1. Kore Kara da!

Opening the group’s sophomore album is a song that we’ve gotten to hear before as an A-side with Kore Kara da!  I mean it’s one of those -upbeat, be strong, you can do it- types of songs so its uplifting energy is pretty nice and a good choice to open things up (considering it was an A-side).  The group sounds good and even more stronger than they were previously.  Good track overall!

2. Come with me

So most of the new tracks on the first disc follows a similar pattern that C-ute did in their last couple of albums before disbandment which was having a member be a focus of a song and all 5 members in Kobushi gets a focus song.  The first is Come with me which has a Ayaka lead.  After the first track, I really wasn’t expecting Come with me to be more funky and cool which surprised me (especially with Ayapan opening the tune like that.  I really like the big band and cool jazzy vibes.  Oh yeah, this was a pretty awesome track and my expectations of the remainder of the tracks are raised a bit!

3. Ashita Tenki ni Naare

I guess we return to the other A-side that was partnered with “Kore Kara da!” and Ashita Tenki ni Naare is still a pretty rockin’ song as well, but doesn’t feel as heavily uplifting like the aforementioned song and “Shalala! Yareru Hazu sa” do.  It kind of feels almost anison in certain chords and styles.  I will say the bridge is still really awkward and should’ve been taken out for the album personally, but it’s whatever I suppose.  Other than that slip, this track is still pretty cool nonetheless.

4. Haru Urara

As the secondary A-side from the last single before this album released, Haru Urara is put in an interesting place after the pounding “Ashita Tenki ni Naare” with more of a softer arrangement and lighter vocal performance.  As a track, Haru Urara is kind of a fluffy cute Springtime song and for the time, I really enjoyed the track and it just felt like it worked with the quintet in a pleasant way.  Might not be my favorite, but I enjoyed it a lot!

5. Suki Kamo Shirenai

Reirei leads the next new track with Suki Kamo Shirenai and it’s a total switch-up of sounds for the group as this song is more electronic-based than the previous song that’s appeared to this point.  I kind of like the piano and some guitars, but the synths are very in your face and really interesting.  It kind of oddly reminds me of Juice=Juice’s “Bitansan” for some reason, but  I really do like Rei’s voice in this one and hearing the others like Ayaka and Ayano here too!  Not bad!

6. Keseyashinai Kimochi

So there’s also some songs that Kobushi Factory have performed in lives only and just now getting a studio release (this, “Kame ni Nare!” and “Dokan to BREAK!”) and this one was long awaited.  Keseyashinai Kimochi is another song that gives me Juice=Juice vibes, this one kind of having a funky, upbeat vibe like “KEEP ON Joshou Shikou!!” but less in your face.  I was also surprised at the sound of the group’s vocals here opting for a girlier, cutesy vibe with this style.  Not that bad of a track, but I think I prefer the live cuts over the studio recording.

7. Kitto Watashi wa

I think between this song & “Oh No Ounou”, these two were my favorite A-sides released in this album era.  Kitto Watashi wa is a little bit off to listen to with its kind of random moments in the song.  I really do like all the parts from the laidback bopping chorus, to the repetitive verses to it’s chanting section.  While it was showing Kobushi Factory kind of drifting away a little from their more rockin’ sound, it was fun and the group sounded pretty well too!  Yeah, it’s still one of my go to songs from this album!

8. Hirakinaocchae!

Next up, Minami leads with Hirakinaocchae! which is kind of the rockin’ song of the 5 tunes which is surprising that it was given to Minamina, but I was surprised at how well she handled the song and I’m kind of surprised at how much she’s improved as a singer since the first album.  She has such a profound voice despite not having the power Ayaka has or the character that Rei or Ayano have.  She’s just really nice to listen to.  As for the song, it’s pretty good, maybe not top tier, but I could see myself enjoying tons more with more listens.

9. Naseba Naru

Then we hit my least favorite of the A-sides with Naseba Naru which is the album’s ballad track and it really never caught on with me after the single release.  At least it keeps up with the group’s sound with guitars and organic settings.  I guess I could give it that, but then I’m reminded at how much it sounds like “Kobushi no Hana” from their first album and I’m immediately turned off.  I guess I do somewhat like how dramatic that final chorus is, but beyond that…just nothing here for me.

10. Yes! We are family ~Kobushi ver.~

I was curious when I saw the tracklist and saw two versions of this track on the album.  I guess as the only new track that us fans didn’t know that had all 5 members in it, Yes! We are family is definitely that chant-heavy song and something for the group get really loud and forceful and I kind of like that about this.  It does somewhat drags in certain chanting parts, but I think overall this was pretty neat, something you don’t hear too often in H!P.

11. Oh No Ounou

Yeah, we finally get to Oh No Ounou which like I wrote earlier, was an A-side I loved when I first reviewed it.  There’s just something cool and funky about this song which is helped by the goofyness of the lyrics and handling of the hooks in the track.  I don’t know why, but there’s just something that also cool and worthwhile to listen to that makes it one of the more memorable Kobushi A-sides.

12. Unlucky no Jijou

Sakurako follows next with the leading track of hers with Unlucky no Jijou whose intro definitely has a strong anison influence about it.  While she’s still pushing forward to become more out in the front (since she was a back girl prior to the triple loss).  I definitely feel like she has such strong potential and she can definitely do some powerful vocals.  Overall, the song is pretty nice all things considered but I think like “Hirakinaocchae!” it’s another grower currently.

13. Kame ni Nare!

As we were able to hear this as far back as last year, Kame ni Nare! was a song that was in waiting for quite a while and I thought it was interesting that this song was chosen as the group’s kind of big and loud live song especially with that powerful chorus.  I don’t think I enjoyed the percussion kind of holding the reins and it does seem to overpower the group sometimes, but I do like sound though (if not slightly more fitting for their first album than here).

14. Shalala! Yareru Hazu sa (2019 ver.)

I guess I was hoping for too much too see either “Eejanaika Ninjanaika” or “Yami ni Nukegake” make the cut, but it makes sense why this song was the only one brought because those two tracks were so closely tied to their stageplay/movie (and had Taguchi, Fujii, and Ogawa) which is why this was updated to take out those 3.  I do think some things changed in its arrangement, but slightly.  The song itself for me was pretty middle and nothing seems to have changed here for me to change my opinion about it.

15. Dokan to BREAK!

I have to say the intro caught me off guard to this track, but I immediately found myself interested in this one since it was harder and a little more powerful in execution because it’s just as loud and in your face like “Kame ni Nare!” but the vocals have more edge and the tune is more controlled and less ridiculous.  Definitely a powerful song and really stands out to me.

16. Ashita no Watashi wa Kyo Yori Kirei

As the album’s finale, I was not surprised it would follow through as a Hamachan lead.  I also wasn’t shocked that the song was going to be a lighter song for the group to get.  I do like the guitar-only arrangement in the beginning when it’s just Ayano, but when I thought it was going to get loud for the chorus, it actually stays on the same path but with the group singing together.  Though at the end of the first chorus, the song opens up with more instrumentation and the song while still more mid-tempo, it’s a bit freeing like a slightly more punchy “Haru Urara”.  This was a nice surprise and I kind of ending up loving it a lot!  Great way to end the album with!

17. Yes! We are family ~FC Machida Zelvia ver.~

Though that’s not all, the album truly ends of with a bonus track which is an alternate version of Yes! We are family which is a cheer song for Machida Zelvia (a Japanese Soccer team).  Different lyrics of course, but otherwise it’s the same arrangement.  Not bad and kind of cool that we got this version, but I kind of wish we got a PV for the song for some reason (it may be from all those Rakuten Eagles singles we had back in 2006-07).

CD2

1. Nen ni wa Nen

With the 2nd disc being all about acapella covers, I was curious to see what tricks they’d have for it but we have to get through this one first which already made an appearance earlier in the year in the “Oh no Ounou / Haru Urara” single as a B-side.  If it’s any relief, I was pretty impressed with it because it’s just the 5 of them going from melodies and beatboxing which is pretty impressive!  Being an acapella take of their debut, I was happy to see this make a return and the first track for the 2nd disc.

2. Chotto Guchoku ni! Chototsu Moushin

Onto the new Acapella takes, we enter the group’s 2nd major A-side and this one was more of the curious ones I was looking forward to because it’s a pretty difficult song for the group to tackle because it was a bit faster and vocally forward.  I definitely hear a LOT of Hamachan in this one which is shocking, but she does a lot of the lyrics powerfully.  If anything they made it so much more difficult with the beatboxing and fast lyrics.  It’s just wild and definitely impressed me.

3. GO TO THE TOP!!

I can’t say I remember many of the album tracks from “Kobushi Sono Ichi” so hearing GO TO THE TOP!! is like listening to it for the first time.  I think I was noticing it didn’t feel as wild or insane like “Chotto Guchoku ni! Chototsu Moushin”, but it still was nice hearing the group gelling and showing their vocal talents.  Not bad!

4. Samba! Kobushi Janeiro 2019

So when it came to this short tracklist for the 2nd disc, Samba! Kobushi Janeiro got a (2019) next to it and it made me curious because it was already going to be different due to it being sung in acapella, but it seems the song got a change of lyrics (mostly to kind of separate it away from its tie to the Rio Olympics or Rio Fujii XD).  Like “GO TO THE TOP!!”, the song sails by pretty smoothly and the beatboxing is just so funny but neats.  Nice!

5. Sakura Night Fever

This is just a nice treat for fans with all these acapella self-covers here.  Sakura Night Fever though I think is my favorite of them because it just works with this style and all of the energy is more handled and sung pretty well here (props to the ones that sung in the background though).  It’s just really nice and doesn’t try to be more difficult than it really is.

6. LOVE Machine

I think majority was surprised that this disc would close out with the group doing an acapella take on Morning Musume’s biggest song.  Even I wasn’t expecting this song, but if anything, of the others, this one takes a bit more liberties than the other tracks (there’s some funky synthy sounds).  Regardless, the song is interesting, but I don’t know if I enjoy it as much as the other ones to be honest…though…a new rapping section?

Tracks Recommended

  • Kitto Watashi wa
  • Oh No Ounou
  • Come with me
  • Sakura Night Fever
  • Hirakinaocchae!

Song of Avoidance

  • Naseba Naru

I was definitely worried when in a move that took less than 6 months, 3 of Kobushi Factory’s members had left the group in rather shady ways and had me worried for the group’s future.  With Kobushi Dai Ni Maku, I feel they have total control here and the triple loss wasn’t really that detrimental and I have to say, there really wasn’t a bad song on here totally (Naseba Naru is weak, but it is worth giving it a try).  I was even more impressed with the acapella disc as it really showed their skills they gained in the last couple of years.  This was an exciting album and I can’t wait to see what’s next for this quintet *RECOMMENDED*

 

Kobushi Factory – Oh No Ounou/Haru Urara April 22, 2019

Filed under: Kobushi Factory — solarblade @ 2:51 am

ohnoounou

Track Listing

  1. Oh No Ounou
  2. Haru Urara
  3. Nen ni wa Nen (Acapella Ver.)
  4. Oh No Ounou (Instrumental)
  5. Haru Urara (Instrumental)

1. Ou No Ounou

It’s been a while I feel like Kobushi released a fun pop/rock song that kind of fits with their stuff from their first album and it seems it has returned with Oh No Ounou.  I find myself enjoying the crap out of this song!  It’s rockin’ and the ~oh no!~ quips in the hook are rather humorous to listen to.  Though I think the best parts are when the group sings in the chorus.  Add on that all 5 members seem to get a lot of awesome solo time so it really worked all-around.  It has been a while, but this is prolly their best song since “Kobushi Sono Ichi” dropped!

2. Haru Urara

To be fair, I wasn’t expecting the group to start leaning on more ballads as of recent but here we are with Haru Urara, their Spring song.  It does give the group a different mindset to singing which is a nice change of pace and the arrangement isn’t a total knockoff song like “Naseba Naru” was.  I kind of like the mid-tempo pop/rockfish feel to the song and like I said Kobushi overall sounds different than they did in “Oh No Ounou” so that’s always a plus too!  Not bad!

3. Nen ni wa Nen (Acapella Ver.)

Though I wasn’t fully expecting a 3rd track for the single, it was one that was kind of overdue at this point.  Yeah despite losing 3 members, Kobushi in recent times has been performing this acapella versions of older songs (“Chotto Guchoku ni! Chototsu Mousin”, GO TO THE TOP!!” and “Samba! Kobushi Janeiro”) and finally this one which finally shows up.  I was surprised with the beatboxing coming from Reirei and the “guitar solo” from Hirose too.  Though I’m overall surprised by this version and really gives their debut song some new life!

 

 

Wow!  I was actually pretty surprised at how decent this single turned out for the most part.  Oh No Ounou is a pretty fun song and brings back Kobushi as the fun and wild ladies while Haru Urara tones things down for a softer, but just as decent performance.  The acapella take of Nen ni wa Nen was super cool though and I can see them releasing an album of redone songs like it!  Curious to see if an album is coming this year or not though!

 

Hello Pro All Stars – YEAH YEAH YEAH/Akogare no Stress-free/Hana, Takenawa no Toki September 18, 2018

yeahyeahyeah

Track Listing

  1. YEAH YEAH YEAH
  2. Akogare no Stress-free
  3. Hana, Takenawa no Toki
  4. Hello! History
  5. YEAH YEAH YEAH (Morning Musume ’18 Ver.) (Regular A only)
  6. YEAH YEAH YEAH (ANGERME Ver.) (Regular B only)
  7. YEAH YEAH YEAH (Juice=Juice Ver.) (Regular C only)
  8. YEAH YEAH YEAH (Country Girls Ver.) (Regular D only)
  9. YEAH YEAH YEAH (Kobushi Factory Ver.) (Regular E only)
  10. YEAH YEAH YEAH (Tsubaki Factory Ver.) (Regular F only)
  11. YEAH YEAH YEAH (Instrumental)
  12. Akogare no Stress-free (Instrumental)
  13. Hana, Takenawa no Toki (Instrumental)
  14. Hello! History (Instrumental)

1. YEAH YEAH YEAH

As the leading A-side of the single, I was kind of expecting a bombastic dance track with such a title, but instead it’s quite the opposite taking more of a mid-tempo piano ballad that actually is structured a bit more as a dance number.  I mean the song sounds a little bit like previous Hello! Project songs and it just doesn’t really put a spark in me (doesn’t help there’s no solos either).  Even the dance breakdown is eerily similar to Momusu’s “Tsumetai Kaze to Kataomoi” & “The Vision”. I don’t know, but the song comes off generic and forgettable.

2. Akogare no Stress-free

At least the 2nd A-side kind of fixes that mess with more of an interesting sound and it’s actually upbeat!  I like the surfers rock sound I get from it and the song just has a bit more oomph to it since it is a bit more of a cooler song for them.  Though the only solos here are actually between Ayacho & Fukuchan (leader and sub-leader of H!P).  It’s a pretty cool song, probably the favorite of the single though.

3. Hana, Takenawa no Toki

I was surprised we were getting this song on the single considering I thought it was more of an Up-Front song than anything (because it was performed first at HinaFest earlier in the year).  That said, seeing the H!P girls get this song is kind of interesting.  The song is a full chorale of a song to a simple piano arrangement.  While I like the togetherness of the track, didn’t we technically get that in “YEAH YEAH YEAH”?  I don’t know, this one is pretty much eh as well, but I suppose it’s clean and simple.

4. Hello! History

Honestly, this should’ve EASILY been the lead song as it really showcases H!P up to date!  It’s funky and the singing is pretty upbeat and kind of quite unique because it mentions a lot of big songs that involve the current groups.  Hell, the leaders of H!P get a solo too (even Reina Ichioka!).  Might look like a bigger “Joshi Kashimashi Monogatari” but I dig this quite a bit, why is it a B-side???

5. YEAH YEAH YEAH (Morning Musume ’18 Ver.) (Regular A only)
6. YEAH YEAH YEAH (ANGERME Ver.) (Regular B only)
7. YEAH YEAH YEAH (Juice=Juice Ver.) (Regular C only)
8. YEAH YEAH YEAH (Country Girls Ver.) (Regular D only)
9. YEAH YEAH YEAH (Kobushi Factory Ver.) (Regular E only)
10. YEAH YEAH YEAH (Tsubaki Factory Ver.) (Regular F only)

Each Regular version of the single does come with a 5th track depending on which version you get (obvious which group you want).  Though I kind of wish it wasn’t YEAH YEAH YEAH as the chosen track though.  Really not much to say here sadly because I’m still not that much of a fan of the song.  Though I guess one good thing that sets these apart from the original is the fact there’s solo lines through each group’s version so I suppose there’s a plus right?

 

 

Compared to “ALL FOR ONE & ONE FOR ALL!” and “Busu ni Naranai Tetsugaku”, this is by far the weakest (get all of H!P together) single to date.  I don’t who thought YEAH YEAH YEAH would make for a decent showing of the company because it kind of brought the generic stuff that H!P has done together in one song.  Probably would’ve better had Akogare no Stress-free or Hello! History as the leading songs because both those tracks are great!  Hana, Takenawa no Toki is simple and nice, but maybe not for this single.  I don’t know this 20th anniversary thing hasn’t really celebrated a lot music-wise IMO…disappointing…

 

 

Kobushi Factory – Kitto Watashi wa/Naseba Naru July 29, 2018

Filed under: Kobushi Factory — solarblade @ 1:12 am

kittowatashiwa

Track Listing

  1. Kitto Watashi wa
  2. Naseba Naru
  3. Kitto Watashi wa (Instrumental)
  4. Naseba Naru (Instrumental)

1. Kitto Watashi wa

As the leading A-side, this is surprisingly Tsunku’s first time doing a song for Kobushi Factory and it shows because this song sounds a lot different than what Kobushi is quite known for so far in their discography.  I think the last actual poppy song they did was “Samba! Kobushi Janeiro” and that was kind of like the black sheep off their first album.  It is an interesting song though with bounce and the quintet sounding a little different from past singles!  I do like the small rapping parts within the song and it does have a couple parts with electric guitar, but this is kind of like the feelgood summer track and I enjoyed that about this one!

2. Naseba Naru

As for the other A-side, Naseba Naru is a LOT like their previous ballad, “Kobushi no Hana” from their first album!  Actually there’s a lot of similarities I could place between the two besides the change of members because it has the same pop/rock/strings sound and the chorus is kind of full-sounding with all 5 members.  Besides the good vocalwork though, I really can’t remember much out of this song.  Maybe it’s a little too close to sounding like “Kobushi no Hana”…

 

 

As the 2nd single as a quintet, Kitto Watashi wa/Naseba Naru is not quite as decent as their previous single due to mostly the fact that Naseba Naru is kind of a ballad they’ve already done before and it’s just a bit plain to me.  Though, I do like Kitto Watashi wa with its Summer vibes and fun sound despite being a bit not the usual for Kobushi Factory.  I kind of wonder what’s next though (especially with 2 unreleased songs in their collection at the moment).

 

Kobushi Factory – Kore Kara da!/Ashita Tenki ni Naare March 20, 2018

Filed under: Kobushi Factory — solarblade @ 5:43 pm

korekarada

Track Listing

  1. Kore Kara da!
  2. Ashita Tenki ni Naare
  3. Kore Kara da! (Instrumental)
  4. Ashita Tenki ni Naare (Instrumental)

1. Kore Kara da!

As the leading A-side, Kore Kara da! was actually somewhat surprising at the arrangement and sound of the song gave me some previous feelings to older songs like something from 4-nin S/mileage with the guitarwork and synths flowing around.  Though it does also somewhat remind me of “Tabidachi no Haru ga Kita”.  I kind of like hearin the members give a somewhat stronger performance considering all 5 members can sing in the lower register.  I wasn’t expecting Reirei to have a beatboxing section or Sakurako to have a lot of lines, but it’s such an interesting song and while it might not be their strongest song, it’s decent enough for Kobushi!

2. Ashita Tenki ni Naare

The other A-side, Ashita Tenki ni Naare feels a bit more like something Buono! would have released due to the style of the guitars and synths.  I do like the drive within the quintet and each girl feels like they stick out a LOT here and the tune kind of gives me sort of similar vibes to like “Shalala! Yareru Hazu sa” but also something like “TEKI”.  What threw me off is the bridge with the English from a dude…way too cheesy.

 

 

Doesn’t it feel like it’s been a while since we’ve seen Kobushi Factory last?  A lot has happened since then, mostly due to the group losing 3 of their members (luckily not their vocal side) and had left us with the 5 here.  I feel like the single is kind of decent, but also somewhat middle of the road since neither song brought the excitement I was hoping for after their previous single.  Though it is nice Wadasaku is getting a bigger push to be on equal terms with the rest of the group now.  Curious to see what’s next for them.

 

 

Kobushi Factory – Shalala! Yareru Hazu sa/Eejanaika Ninjanaika June 14, 2017

Filed under: Kobushi Factory — solarblade @ 3:59 pm

shalala

Track Listing

  1. Shalala! Yareru Hazu sa
  2. Eejanaika Ninjanaika
  3. Yami ni Nukegake (SP Edition only)
  4. Picchi Pichi Tomodacchi (SP Edition only)
  5. Shalala! Yareru Hazu sa (Instrumental)
  6. Eejanaika Ninjanaika (Instrumental)
  7. Yami ni Nukegake (Instrumental)
  8. Picchi Pichi Tomodacchi (Instrumental)

1. Shalala! Yareru Hazu sa

Kicking the single off, I was happy to hear that Shalala! gives me a mix of pop/punk with a little bit of ska in the tune.  Considering that it fits with Kobushi’s overall style, it was pretty decent and has a nice positive sound to it all.  I have to say though that I love the chorus and the energy the girls put in.  Surprising though that it’s the only song on the single not tied to something!

2. Eejanaika Ninjanaika

That said the rest of the single is tied to the JK Ninja Girls staeplay & movie.  Though I was wondering why they made the other A-side sound like a showgirls-like track mix with some light ondo.   It’s cute as things go but like with “Samba! Kobushi Janeiro” it’s one of the oddball A-sides they’ve had.  I will say that it’s catchy as hell though and everyone gets a solo line which is always decent to hear too!

3. Yami ni Nukegake

The last two tracks were insert songs for the stageplay (“Eejanaika Ninjanaika” was the theme for the movie).  Starting with Yami ni Nukegake, a song that outside of the play, Kobushi has been performing a lot of, it’s a pretty interesting song.  You can hear the ninja-esque elements, but it does stem closer to Kobushi’s style but has a lot of funky bass lines and horn lines.  Strange as it seems, it works a lot better than “Eejanaika Ninjanaika” as it’s a bit more edgy and the girls have a lot more solos to handle, but came out sounding amazing here!  Curious to why this wasn’t an A-side because it sounds awesome!

4. Picchi Pichi Tomodacchi

The same can’t be said for the last track though.  I instantly felt the stageplay feel immediately from the arrangement and the weird instrumentation.  On top of the male quips that were thrown in.  A lot of the girls sound higher than I thought and that in itself was odd.  Though it’s not as strange as the interlude of the guys singing against this EDM-ish cutesy arrangement for a little while.  What a strange choice to put on the single, couldn’t this have been on the “JK Ninja Girls” OST?

 

 

As the group’s first single after their first album, “Kobushi Sono Ichi”, I feel like they hit a weird point with this one.  I think Shalala! Yareru Hazu sa was appropriate enough to be the leading track because it sounds like a lot of their stuff prior.  Though having the other 75% being tied to their JK Ninja Girls stuff might have led them astray since none of the songs really fit Kobushi’s style.  That said though, I did really love Yami ni Nukegake and in some parts Eejanaika Ninjanaika as there’s some experimentation that works for them moreso than “Samba! Kobushi Janeiro” did.  Picchi Pichi Tomodacchi is just an odd song for them and to throw random male parts in didn’t help much in the end.

I guess it should be mentioned that this is also Rio Fujii’s final single with the group as she’s graduating and I don’t think she was well-represented here as a send-off single.  Shalala!’s PV helped, but Rio chose to announce this a bit after the single’s announcement sadly.  Still, I’ll miss her energy and quirkiness…hopefully she won’t leave too much of a hole behind.

 

Kobushi Factory – Butai “JK Ninja Girls” Original Soundtrack April 27, 2017

Filed under: Kobushi Factory — solarblade @ 7:01 am

jkninjagirls

Track Listing

  1. I Love Ninja Girls -Tokyo vs. Osaka-
  2. Saru mo Odaterya Hitottobi
  3. Atama Warukute Kirigakurezu
  4. Erabu Mirai
  5. Kanashimi no Kakera
  6. Eiga “JK Ninja Girls” no Oshirase Special Talk!

1. I Love Ninja Girls -Tokyo vs. Osaka-

It’s been quite a while since an OST song brought me some smiles and I Love Ninja Girls is cute, very ninja-esque and vocally is quite nice going from strong lines from all the members to a bouncy unison section.  I find it compelling and strongly thought this was great as the theme for the play itself.

2. Saru mo Odaterya Hitottobi

It’s no surprise when it comes to valid vocal prowess, I’m not surprised that Saru mo Odaterya Hitottobi is a solo from Rei.  I really love the intro with just her singing with a VERY powerful presence.  She does tone it down once the music joins in which is bouncy and a bit cute.  I’m not exactly a fan of the synth horns, but OST songs tend to sound cheap so it’s not a thing that kills it, but it’s too noticeable.

3. Atama Warukute Kirigakurezu

Now Hamachan gets a solo as well and her track, Atama Warukute Kirigakurezu, is a simple song in comparison to all of the other tracks.  Despite being a song made by a CASIO (it feels like), I’m just not into this because Hamachan is using her squeaky voice to get by and I feel like I’m listening to some children’s song.  Just not my kind of song.

4. Erabu Mirai

Now we have a track that combines Rei and Ayano together.  Luckily, they both ditched the cutesy sound of their solo entirely for a simple piano/strings ballad.  Fortunately for them, they bring their A game and give a powerful, but short performance.  I kind of wish it wasn’t 2 minutes long, but what can you do?

5. Kanashimi no Kakera

The last track features all of the other Kobushi members that aren’t Hamachan & Reirei and I’m happy they at least focused a little on them with this track too.  It’s nice they also paired them like Ayaka/Sakurako/Minami & Rio/Natsumi/Rena for both verses and choruses and it worked alongside its acoustic guitar based arrangement.  Soft, but it definitely stood out.

 

 

Getting into this I guess preview OST, Kobushi Factory once again sounded decent for JK Ninja Girls.  Granted, 5 songs is not quite enough to satiate my interest in the play since it’s the group as Ninjas and all.  I would say most of the tracks were pretty decent with the only stinker being Hamachan’s solo track…that was a little too idol genki for me.  With their upcoming single featuring the theme for the JK Ninja Girls movie, it makes me wonder how Japanese they’ll make the song since the main theme for the play is kooky.

 

Kobushi Factory – Kobushi Sono Ichi December 5, 2016

Filed under: Kobushi Factory — solarblade @ 3:48 am

kobushisonoichi

Track Listing

  1. Isogaba Maware
  2. Dosukoi! Kenkyo ni Daitan
  3. Chotto Guchoku ni! Chototsu Moushin
  4. Nen ni wa Nen
  5. Mijiku Hanjuku Torotoro
  6. Ramen Daisuki Koizumi-san no Uta
  7. Kenmei Blues
  8. Bacchikoi Seishun!
  9. Zanshin
  10. Survivor
  11. Samba! Kobushi Janeiro
  12. TEKI
  13. Osu! Kobushi Tamashii
  14. Ora wa Ninkimono
  15. GO TO THE TOP!!
  16. Sakura Night Fever
  17. Kobushi no Hana

CD2

  1. This is Unmei (Kobushi 2016 ver.)
  2. Maji Bomber!!
  3. Koi no Jubaku
  4. Seishun Gekijou
  5. Kawaii Kare
  6. Icchoume Rock!
  7. Da Di Du De Do Da Di!

1. Isogaba Maware

Opening the album, the opening riff of Isogaba Maware definitely reminded me of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit”.  Though quickly as that comparison was made the synths get added in and the track shifted sound quite swiftly.  Like with many of their other songs, all 8 members get some kind of spotlight so I approve of that immensely.  Great start to the album!

2. Dosukoi! Kenkyo ni Daitan

Then we move back to the group’s major label debut (well the first of the three A-sides).  When they showed off Dosukoi! for the first time, many fans were hoping that they’d stay with the more rockin’ atmosphere that their indies single had and really kicked it up a notch.  I did find the group having a lot more synchronicity with one another and they just powered through the track like it was nothing.  Awesome song still!

3. Chotto Guchoku ni! Chototsu Moushin

Moving to their 2nd major single, the 2nd leading track from the single, Chotto Guchoku ni! took a more funky route, including some brass and fun, bright sounds!  I have to say though that this one wasn’t high up there for me because the growling in the song was a bit overdone for me.  Its slightly grown on me, but it’s still rather on the lower side of the spectrum for me.

4. Nen ni wa Nen

After that, we move back to their indies single and their first song, Nen ni wa Nen.  I have to say, first and foremost, that I’m disappointed that they chose the original cut and not the “Nen’iri ver.” from their major single as that version fixed the hiccups and the fact the group resung the track in much better fashion!  I still do though love the song as it brought some firepower right from the beginning and my first listen to impressive vocals.  Great song overall!

5. Mijiku Hanjuku Torotoro

Finally we’re onto our next new song with Mijiku Hanjuku Torotoro and after the first group songs, this one is a lot more poppier and cute for them.  It does give me a little bit of Buono! vibes when the group was still on their high roll.  I do think that of the new songs, this one is slightly forgettable amongst the multitude of other tracks.  Something else to mention is that ex-ANGERME member Kanon Fukuda wrote the lyrics.  Still, the song is OK, but nothing to write home about.

6. Ramen Daisuki Koizumi-san no Uta

Oh boy, moving onto the pseudo-cover of Sharam Q’s “Ramen Daisuki Koike-san no Uta”, Kobushi’s version does sound a bit more like the bands self-cover of it that was done a decade ago.  As for this version, Ramen Daisuki is another A-side that I wasn’t totally into because a lot of the sohg to me feels as if the group is shouting the lyrics.  I still do think Hamachan & Renako are REALLY rough to the ears.  Yeah, it might be my least favorite of the A-sides they released.

7. Kenmei Blues

Woo! Another new song comes our way!  I have to say that it was an awesome decision to premier this right when the album was first announced, Kenmei Blues is pretty badass of a song for the group.  It has a certain spaghetti Western kind of drawl to it and I love the verses as it really shows off the members character (especially Hamachan, Ayapan, and Minamina).  Of the new songs, I was excited for this one and it definitely disappointed, it stands as my favorite of them all!

8. Bacchikoi Seishun!

Ahh yes, moving to the 3rd single for the album, Bacchikoi Seishun! was memorable for being the baseball-themed track and it shows.  I have to admit, the song reminded me a little bit of “Chotto Guchoku ni! Chototsu Moushin” & Osu! Kobushi Tamashii” with the overall feel.  The song itself is pretty catchy in and of itself, but I still feel that Kobushi has a lot more stronger song, so it lands more towards the middle for me.

9. Zanshin

Things slow down a little bit with our next new track, Zanshin which introduces some harmonica into the arrangement!  I really like the American feel of the arrangement as it reminds me of stuff from the past.  Despite that “Kobushi no Hana” was chosen to end the first disc, I would think this would also have been a great choice as well!  It’s a pretty good song to show off a softer side to the group (a slight reprieve from the rock songs).

10. Survivor

I think the biggest surprise was seeing Survivor make the album cut despite the track being used for the group’s “Week End Survivor” stageplay and not being performed too much in concerts, but I suppose this validates its inclusion to future setlists!  Opening with a solo from Hamachan, Survivor begins mysteriously before turning into their darkest rock track on the album!  It’s just a standout track from the album and all the members did an awesome job here!

11. Samba! Kobushi Janeiro

The leading A-side of the 3rd major single was definitely in the realm of the recent Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.  After the event had worn off and the single was not being promoted heavily as such, I actually feel that it’s the strange song on the album as it’s a bit in a different genre and category from the norm from Kobushi.  I still do love the heavier bass beats and overall fun nature of the song but it is an odd one for the album.

12. TEKI

Of the new tracks, TEKI was shown off first earlier in the summer!  Though I have to say I was shocked that this new track is only 2 minutes long.  I mean it does its job by being upbeat and rockin’  and the girls show off a lot of energy.  However, like I said, it’s terribly short and as quickly it begins, it ends.  I think Tsuno Maisa could’ve added another minute to this, but it’s an odd track.

13. Osu! Kobushi Tamashii

Back to A-sides, We have Osu! Kobushi Tamashii and initially I was put off from the growling (because it was on the same single as “Chotto Guchoku ni!”, so it was overbearing to me.  Though with more time, this song became pretty cool and the growling suits the arrangement and overall flow!  It’s got a lot of good parts too, very catchy song and one of my favorite A-sides!

14. Ora wa Ninkimono

Then here is our other cover track, one of the themes to Crayon Shin-chan.  I wasn’t expecting Kobushi Factory to be doing ska for an A-side, but here we are and it was another one of the more stronger tracks from the singles.  I really like how the group just let themselves go and have a fun, silly time with the track.  I even have to credit Fujii for mimicking Shinnosuke (the show’s main character) in the final sections.  Definitely another favorite!

15. GO TO THE TOP!!

Getting into GO TO THE TOP!!, all I could think of how it reminds me of “Mijiku Hanjuku Torotoro” and “Chotto Guchoku ni! Chototsu Moushin” in how that it’s pretty straightforward.  I mean it does show off the group’s vocals once again and I find myself digging the song even if it doesn’t fully stick over other songs on the album.

16. Sakura Night Fever

Then we have our 3rd and last cover on the album, covering a KAN song that was released a year ago originally.  Sakura Night Fever is pretty cute and fun to listen to and it just has a feeling of being a REALLY popular song live as there’s a lot of chanting to go along with it.  I still love the fact that the song is sung in the perspective of a sakura tree proclaiming that it has importance just as much as holidays and seasons.  A really fun song overall!

17. Kobushi no Hana

Finally we at the end of the first disc and ironically enough, Kobushi no Hana was chosen to promote the album with a PV.  As the album’s lone ballad, I thought this was going to be a bit gross, but I have to say, if you were looking for impressive vocals, then this one is definitely going to stick out.  I do have to give props to Sakurako though as she had a PERFECT solo in the second verse.  Really though, H!P ballads rarely impress and beyond the vocals, I don’t think I’ll remember this song very long.

CD 2

1. This is Unmei (Kobushi 2016 ver.)

So as many would assume, the 2nd disc is a cover disc of other H!P songs starting with This is Unmei (originally Melon Kinenbi’s 4th A-side).  It also got the 2016 ver. due to it being the only cover on the 2nd disc to have an update to its arrangement on top of the new vocals.  It still does stick to its faithfulness of the original and Kobushi does try to do a better job, but it is hard to topple Melon’s original.

2. Maji Bomber!!

Considering Kobushi was the group to kind of take over Berryz’ legacy, it’s no surprise that there would be some covers here from them.  Also, the rest of the disc use the arrangement of the original versions.  While I remember this song to be a bit more shouty in performance, it was a bit of a weakness to Kobushi and they do sound a little stressed in covering this one.

3. Koi no Jubaku

Another Berryz cover follows up “Maji Bomber!!” and it’s more interesting as this was a song released in Berryz’ early years.  With that said, I have to say that the more mature vocals of Kobushi makes the song sound a bit more up-to-date and reasonable than the really youthful sound of the original.  Decent cover of the track!

4. Seishun Gekijou

A song I wasn’t expecting Kobushi to cover, it’s a stageplay song originally done by both Berryz & C-ute.  While this is like the 5th version of it that’s out there, it is the first sung by a different group other than the originals.  It’s a pretty simple ballad with piano & strings and also included a male vocalist (who feels more background than he did in the original cuts).  I’ve never was really interested in this song so it didn’t leave a better impression otherwise.

5. Kawaii Kare

Here we are with another Melon Kinenbi cover that was later down in the group’s career and this one had more of an electronic feeling.  I actually also ended up liking this cover even if Melon did this better once again.  Though I have to say I was impressed with them vocally here and manage to add some spice to it!

6. Icchoume Rock!

Of the Berryz songs they chose to cover, I was surprised that they chose Icchoume Rock! (an album song from “7 Berryz Times”, which was an album I barely even remember…AND I REVIEWED THAT!).  So no surprise, I had to go back and listen to the original first before jumping into this.  Kobushi’s cover of it is pretty decent and definitely fits majority of their discography.  The only thing I was like WTF about was Reirei’s lines…overdoing it a bit much here.  Still, the song is good though.

7. Da Di Du De Do Da Di!

The last track of the disc is funny enough a Momusu cover, but surprise, surprise that this song originally came from their 2nd album, “Second Morning”.  Talk about reaching back right?  Either way, Da Di Du De Do Da Di! definitely once again suits Kobushi (especially after “Zanshin” but this song is a bit repetitive and at that lacks the special feel this song when Momusu sung as the ending section was filled with nods to various other songs Momusu had done.  Kobushi just glosses over it and for that it ended up madly repetitive and screwy with the fade-out outro.

Tracks Recommended

  • Osu! Kobushi Tamashii
  • Kenmei Blues
  • Ora wa Ninkimono
  • Sakura Night Fever
  • Survivor

Song of Avoidance

  • Seishun Gekijou

Finally we have Kobushi Factory’s first album and overall it was a decent album to have with all the group’s songs on their and a nice amount of new songs balanced with some new covers.  Kobushi Sono Ichi really shows off the pop/rock feel of the group but goes off to add cuter songs in the fray.  While I think there were better choices of songs to cover than what we got, in the end everything was impressive in some way.  Good album!

 

Kobushi Factory – Samba! Kobushi Janeiro/Bacchikoi Seishun!/Ora wa Ninkimono July 19, 2016

Filed under: Kobushi Factory — solarblade @ 1:40 am

sambakobushijaneiro

Track Listing

  1. Samba! Kobushi Janeiro
  2. Bacchikoi Seishun!
  3. Ora wa Ninkimono
  4. Samba! Kobushi Janeiro (Instrumental)
  5. Bacchikoi Seishun! (Instrumental)
  6. Ora wa Ninkimono (Instrumental)

1. Samba! Kobushi Janeiro

If you couldn’t guess the song and what it’s all about, it’s about the upcoming Rio de Janeiro Olympics!  Hearing the song, it does remind me of a certain recent track by ANGERME, “Asekaite Carnival” as both are samba tracks. but this one lacks the weird inclusion of dubstep!  I really like the festive atmosphere and the heavier pulsing beats that filter through the song and the great brass playing.  Another thing that I found interesting is that when they say Rio, their member Rio Fujii is somewhat involved!  Overall, it’s a catchy song and fits the celebratory feel of the Olympics quite nicely!

2. Bacchikoi Seishun!

Next up is our baseball-themed A-side, Bacchikoi Seishun! and to be honest, it did slightly remind me of “Chotto Guchoku ni! Chototsu Moushin” with the kind of pop/rock sound alongside the members growling some of their lines.  I found myself growing into enjoying the song because initially, it was pretty weak and sounded like some of their previous things.  Though the song’s chorus is what saves it mostly (and Natsumi and Rio’s filtered lines).  Probably my least favorite of the single, but it grows on you.

3. Ora wa Ninkimono

It seems that Kobushi has also fallen into covering different songs, unlike doing Sharam Q and KAN, this time they’re doing a cover of a classic Crayon Shin-chan from 1993!  Kind of was surprised that the group covered such a song, but I really like the energy and spaz moments that come from each of the 8 members.  It’s energetic and surprisingly REALLY catchy! (and let’s be honestly much more vocally there than the original >.>)

Kobushi’s 3rd major single to me is kind of lower than their last single, but definitely not in the league of being poor or bad, it’s still quite strong overall!  I do think that Samba! Kobushi Janeiro & Ora wa Ninkimono were the memorable songs here as they give us new sides of the group we haven’t seen yet and they tackled them both nicely!  Especially that Crayon Shin-chan cover, that was pretty awesome!  As for Bacchikoi Seishun! it’s more or less what we’ve come to expect from the group, so it doesn’t totally stand out to me, but its PV made up for that luckily!  So…where’s our album and more importantly where’s “TEKI”?