Kurayami Monogatari

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KOKIA – Kioku no Hikari May 7, 2013

Filed under: KOKIA — solarblade @ 12:26 am

kiokunohikari

Track Listing

  1. Kioku no Hikari
  2. Where to go my love? (single ver.)
  3. Kioku no Hikari (instrumental ver.)

1. Kioku no Hikari

After the last GUNDAM theme, “Memorial days” failed to really impress me, Kioku no Hikari comes into play and I already feel like she put more effort into this single than in the single before.  Her angelic and beautiful voice really spoke colors in the song and she just gave this EPIC kind of glow!  This definitely fits the series to a T and definitely was what I expected the first time around!  Mysterious, yet profound…great song!

2. Where to go my love? (single ver.)

So the B-side is a new version of the title track of her most recent album (though the album was pretty much a bore like “moment” was).  I will say that the album version was the song I most remember from the album so seeing it get a single version was exciting.  After “Kioku no Hikari”, this song is really a bit of a struggle to care about because of the slow tempo and drawl it has because it’s really KOKIA holding the song up with her voice.  Not bad of a version but I like the original more!

Even though KOKIA is going through some tragedy in her life, she did put out this single which really did fix the things that I didn’t like about “Battle of destiny” and that was there was no silly song as a B-side and instead gave us a solid revisioned version of Where to go my love?  Kioku no Hikari though is the GUNDAM theme I was waiting for and I was definitely happy about it!  Good single overall!

 

KOKIA – Battle of destiny March 3, 2013

Filed under: KOKIA — solarblade @ 8:24 pm

battleofdestiny

Track Listing

  1. Battle of destiny
  2. Aete Ureshii Nyan

1. Battle of destiny

When I heard that this song was tied to Dragon’s Nest, I was SO DAMN happy because the last song she did for the series “Road to Glory” was bloody amazing and I can see the similarities between that and Battle of destiny because this is the epic KOKIA I’ve really wanted all last year but ended up getting a lot of bland!  This song is really awesome and the fact I think KOKIA is singing in a different language is clearly proof of how amazing she really is…until…

2. Aete Ureshii Nyan

We move into the B-side which is a TOTAL 180 from the epicness of “Battle of destiny” because up to this point of my enjoyment of KOKIA I’ve never heard her voice sound so high and cutesy doing this nyan thing…DAMNIT STOP FOLLOWING MOMOKO!!!  I really would love to know why she did a song like this because I can’t think of any other way at the moment…this is just a bit too absurd.

 

 

KOKIA is once again on a release streak for some reason but the album that’s coming out doesn’t have ANY of the singles she’s done since “Sakura no Ki no Shita” so it’s weird to me.  Battle of destiny is a pretty amazing track and definitely is a great track to be from the same series as “Road to Glory” was.  Aete Ureshii Nyan however…gross and really not the type of thing KOKIA should do more often….blech!  I wonder what “Kioku no Hikari” will turn out like now…

 

KOKIA – Yume Oibito March 13, 2012

Filed under: KOKIA — solarblade @ 9:53 pm

Track Listing

  1. Yume Oibito
  2. Yume Oibito (Piano Version)
  3. Yume Oibito (Instrumental)
  4. Yume Oibito (Piano Version) (Instrumental)

1. Yume Oibito

Dang, KOKIA really likes her ballads huh?  I mean in recent times her ballads have been oddly very boring despite KOKIA’s amazing vocals.  Yume Oibito it’s like the other ballad A-sides she’s released so far in the era which is not a good sign IMHO.  I’m just overall not impressed here.

2. Yume Oibito (Piano Version)

Just to add salt to the already existing wound, she puts out a piano-only version of the song and I’m even further bored by it.  I mean yeah the vocals are pretty great, but it just doesn’t seem like it makes up for the bored and tired arrangement. 

 

 

While I think KOKIA is a great singer and all, her singles as of lately have been mostly disappointments and makes me wonder how well she’ll do with an album of these.  Yume Oibito is just too plain for me…it’s like “Memorial days” but less because it has an even more boring piano version of it.  Girl, needs to pick up the slack badly!

 

KOKIA – Hikari wo Kasanete February 1, 2012

Filed under: KOKIA — solarblade @ 7:33 pm

Track Listing

  1. Hikari wo Kasanete
  2. Faraway
  3. Hikari wo Kasanete (instrumental)
  4. Faraway (instrumental)

1. Hikari wo Kasanete

So we had an A-side tied to GUNDAM and one for the Tales of… series, however we now get a .hack tie-in for Hikari wo Kasanete and I wasn’t surprised that the song was a ballad.  Once again the melody of the song isn’t amazing or anything but it’s simple and just has the lullaby-type.  It’s a small step up from “Memorial days” but still kind of boring for me.

2. Faraway

But oh no, we have to get even MORE softer for the B-side in Faraway.  It’s kind of what I thought of “0 Kara no Hajimari” in that it’s maybe a little too soft for me.  I will say this did somewhat entrance me because of how breathy KOKIA is in the song plus how echoey it gets in some parts.  This might be the better song but I don’t know…

 

 

KOKIA’s third single released on the same day kind of isn’t very surprising or memorable for that matter like “New Day, New Life”.  Essentially if you’ve heard the “Memorial days” single then you’re getting the same treatment for Hikari wo Kasanete.  Both songs are ballads and the B-side does rank a bit higher…but still kind of forgetful (once again…) >.>

 

KOKIA – Memorial days January 24, 2012

Filed under: KOKIA — solarblade @ 5:49 pm

Track Listing

  1. Memorial days
  2. 0 Kara no Hajimari
  3. Memorial days (Instrumental)
  4. 0 Kara no Hajimari (Instrumental)

1. Memorial days

As a theme for the GUNDAM series, I was kind of excited to hear Memorial days, though I wasn’t expecting something so quiet to come from KOKIA (especially after “New Day, New Life”).  It’s really light and it has KOKIA singing in a higher pitch than I’m used to which is different but she sounds OK.  It’s nice that more instruments join in after a while with just her and piano.  I’m just not really into the song as much as her other A-side.

2. 0 Kara no Hajimari

The B-side unfortunately goes in the same direction as “Memorial days” as a ballad but she sounds a little better here actually.  I’m stull bummed that it’s still essentially piano before underlying strings join in but I preferred this to be the leading song to be honest. 

 

 

Boring single is kind of boring here and I had rather high hopes for this single to be honest.  Neither Memorial days and 0 Kara no Hajimari really spoke to me and she clearly has better ballads in her repetoire to throw out so I’m rather surprised that it just didn’t work.

 

KOKIA – New Day, New Life

Filed under: KOKIA — solarblade @ 4:35 am

Track Listing

  1. New Day, New Life
  2. life ~Seimei no Hibiki~
  3. New Day, New Life (without vocal)
  4. life ~Seimei no Hibiki~ (without vocal)

1. New Day, New Life

Ohhhh, this is interesting that New Day, New Life sounds breezy and quite pretty from KOKIA.  I have to say that I love these kind of songs and she actually blew me away with this one because while it has this hopeful and bright feel, I can’t helped but be lulled away by KOKIA’s soft vocals in both verses and choruses.  It might not be epic KOKIA, but this is just as good and I’m loving this track!

2. life ~Seimei no Hibiki~

The B-side though is a bit of a surprise because it starts with some male, talking.  I’m not sure what language she’s singing but it’s definitely different and is a giant switch from the breezy “New Day, New Life”.  It kind of reminds me of the stuff on “REAL WORLD” but upbeat and I’m enjoying this as well.  It’s really good!  Maybe something off of “pieces” as well!

 

 

As this is the first of three simultaneously released singles, New Day, New Life has raised my interest a full jump for sure.  The leading song was bright and poppy but not so much that it’s tasteful…however the main star is life ~Seimei no Hibiki~!  It’s just so unique and fresh for KOKIA and she sounds AMAZING in it.  Though I still wonder what language she’s singing because I know it can’t be Japanese.  Now I’m curious to how “Memorial days” and “Hikari wo Kasanete” will sound! *RECOMMENDED*

 

KOKIA – pieces August 26, 2011

Filed under: KOKIA — solarblade @ 8:14 am

Track Listing

  1. KARMA
  2. Insomnia
  3. Transparent
  4. Chinmoku
  5. Fate
  6. Omoi
  7. Nageki no Oto
  8. Koto no wa
  9. Anata to Deatte
  10. Road to Glory~for Dragon Nest White Version
  11. EXEC_REBIRTHIA=PROTOCOL/.
  12. EXEC_COSMOFLIPS/.
  13. Hikari no Naka ni

1. KARMA

I feel a little weird that KOKIA starts her outwork collection with the three singles preceding this album IN ORDER in A-side, B-side lineage too.  Anyways KARMA kicks things off with such soothing chanting and a quiet atmosphere at first really made this song just pop for me when it was first released.  After the first verse the song gains a steady beat and KOKIA’s ad-libbing just wows me.  It isn’t as grandiose like “Fate” or “EXEC_COSMOFLIPS/.” but damn does it have its good parts…great start to the album.

2. Insomnia

I do think that besides “EXEC_COSMOFLIPS/.”, Insomnia sticks out on the album simply because it is sung in a totally different language and that’s Italian.  However, the song does nothing for me because it’s so much of a lullaby and the arrangement doesn’t really go anywhere while KOKIA is singing in a very legato tone so it feels like it moves even slower.  It’s vocally very good, but this just puts me into sleep mode.

3. Transparent

I did just review this single beforehand today, but I’ve had this single for quite a while.  I still haven’t changed my opinions around at all since the singles review (god forbid that I reviewed before this album).  It does wake me up after “Insomnia” which is a good thing, but I’m still overall annoyed by that vague chorus.  Oh well.

4. Chinmoku

Of the B-sides that were released in the era, Chinmoku is my favorite of the three just because it doesn’t drag and it has this feeling that I just find myself loving.  Like I said on the single review earlier today, Chinmoku is pretty and KOKIA’s English in the line ~I wanna embrace you~ just stands out.  Love this tune!

5. Fate

Yeah, this song is epic and awesome to listen to.  It’s like walking to a battlefield or something with KOKIA and his orgasmic vocals hahaha.  From the marching style to the way the song was handled altogether it’s no wonder I’m just head over heels over this song.  She needs more songs like these since this is her at her best. 

6. Omoi

It’s really hard to place this or “Insomnia” as the worst of the B-sides.  With the latter it was from the sleepy arrangement that didn’t really go anywhere.  Omoi’s problem lies in the fact that it’s way too long for me.  However, the song is more interesting because of the depressing tone of the song mixed with KOKIA’s whispery vocals and low strings.  It might be interesting for the ballad fans, but this needed to be chopped in length.

7. Nageki no Oto

Finally songs that I haven’t already heard prior to this release!  I really like the depressing glow of this song as well which fits pretty nicely after “Omoi”.  At least KOKIA’s vocals are more impressive here and I love the bass in this song a lot for some reason but this song grows into something that’s a lil like “Fate” almost but not as jaw-dropping.

8. Koto no wa

Another ballad fills the headphones next with Koto no wa and since it’s only KOKIA with piano and strings with light percussion.  I get a wintry night kind of feel for the song and the mood is very relaxed and yet kind of bright at the same time.  I just get into a good mood whenever I listen to this song and is one of the more pleasant and calming songs.

9. Anata to Deatte

Another “Insomnia” on the album?!?  Yeah, it’s the same exact feeling I get listening to this track because it’s really slow and the legato singing is really dragging the song even slower which puts me back into a sleepy kind of mood.  I mean it’s a little more likeable than the B-side, but it’s very hard to fully enjoy since it’s just THAT SLOOOOOW.

10. Road to Glory~for Dragon Nest White Version

Wow, I didn’t think she would’ve added Road to Glory on here because it’s A. The only song represented from the mini-album from the era and B. I still quite like even if this is the third time I reviewed it really.  It’s really adventurous of a song and kind of falls into the same category as “KARMA” but with a lighter glow and a much prettier arrangement IMO.  Later on the song it does become stronger with erhu and brass mixed in with a marching beat ala “Fate”.  It’s one of the album’s best songs.

11. EXEC_REBIRTHIA=PROTOCOL/.

Ok, the strange titles for the next two tracks are because both songs are tied to the Ar tornelico series of games.  The first of the two tones down the epic factor to another ballad but unlike the sleeper songs, REBIRTHIA=PROTOCOL starts out with a long passage of ad-libbing before KOKIA comes in and she sounds kind of deeper than in the other songs which threw me off at first but it’s a nice change.  It isn’t an amazing song as I hoped it would be (considering I’ve had the next song on replay for a long time). 

12. EXEC_COSMOFLIPS/.

For a song to have such an interesting title like COSMOFLIPS, I was expecting something way outrageous and outside of the box for KOKIA.  It seems that she conjured up another “Fate”-like track and I fell in love with this completely.  However, newbies will find themselves confused or trying to figure out what the hell she’s saying.  That’s because this song is sung under the fictional Ar tornelico language, Hymnnos.  It’s still pretty damn epic of a battlefield type of a song has a lot of punch and of course KOKIA sounds OMG good.  Yeah another grand slammer of a song!

13. Hikari no Naka ni

Closing the album out is Hikari no Naka ni which kind of sounds like something left over from her album, “REAL WORLD” since it has this Tunisian feel but in a more calmer and soothing fashion.  It does seem to slowly build into something better but also has a slow part as well before returning to it.  It’s a nice closing song to choose for the album IMO.

Tracks Recommended

  • Fate
  • EXEC_COSMOFLIPS/.
  • Chinmoku
  • Road to Glory~for Dragon Nest White Version
  • Koto no wa

Song of Avoidance

  • Insomnia

It’s been a long time waiting for this album to finally come out.  Even though it’s credited as an outworks album, I consider it a main album since the last three singles she released are present on here with a bunch of other tracks that didn’t have an official KOKIA release.  If your looking for an album to start with “REAL WORLD” and “THE VOICE” still tops the list but this isn’t far behind and made up for that boring mess in “moment”.  Yeah, definitely check this album out *RECOMMENDED*

 

KOKIA – Transparent August 25, 2011

Filed under: KOKIA — solarblade @ 5:25 pm

Track Listing

  1. Transparent
  2. Chinmoku
  3. Transparent (instrumental)
  4. Chinmoku (instrumental)

1. Transparent

I get an interesting feel when I listen to Transparent which as an eerie glow that almost sounds like VGM music in the beginning which was the first thing that caught my attention.  I will say that since it’s the A-side placed between “KARMA” and “Fate” it’s just a little strange to not see the vocal layering here.  I will say that the glow of the song made me enjoy it but damn…could you have redone the chorus where it isn’t ~transparent, transparent, transparent…etc.~.  Otherwise, it’s not bad but definitely the weakest of the “pieces” era.

2. Chinmoku

As for the B-side I thought it sounded a little R&B-ish in the first few seconds before KOKIA comes in ad-libbing.  It does seem a little more spooky than “Transparent” but at the same time it has a really nice icy glow to it that actually pulled me in quite quickly.  It kind of moves like a snail, but that’s alright since I’m entranced by her dreamy and magical vocals lol.

 

 

To me of the three singles released for the era, Transparent is the weakest one, but it does have the best B-side simple because Chinmoku really took me to a different place with its cold and moving piece.  Transparent would’ve been alright if it wasn’t for the icky chorus…still both tracks are on the album soooo xD

 

KOKIA – moment May 20, 2011

Filed under: KOKIA — solarblade @ 4:29 am

Track Listing

  1. moment ~Ima wo Ikiru~
  2. te a te
  3. from 16
  4. Otona no Ookami
  5. Daijoubu Daijoubu
  6. Hontou no Oto
  7. Yasashii Shirabe
  8. Sora Detsu na Gatteru
  9. Ai to Heiwa to Ongaku to
  10. 5-tsu Me no Kisetsu
  11. Mou Ichido…

1. moment ~Imi wo Ikiru~

Starting the album off with the title track, moment does start off slowly with a nice enough piano-based melody and light and fluffy vocals from KOKIA.  After a bit accordion (or what I think is) appears to make it sound a bit more interesting and it does.  The problem is is that there’s no real climax to the song and just simmers to try to get there.  It’s something I don’t really appreciate but whatever KOKIA sounds wonderous.

2. te a te

Unlike “moment’s” sound, te a te does a little better of a job making things a bit more memorable.  There’s something magical about the song that makes things stand out a little bit more than normal.  It could be also from KOKIA’s vocals that sound like she compined a little bit of opera with a smidge of shima-uta as well.  It’s different, but somehow it’s relaxing vibes worked better than the first track.

3. from 16

Our next track takes things even more quieter by making the arrangement be mostly acoustic guitar and piano (but more of the former).  The problem is here is that it reminds me of those digital singles that nearly bored me to death.  You know, “Kimi wo Sagashite” and “single mother” and the like.  It just doesn’t pop out at me really and almost puts me to sleep.

4. Otona no Ookami

After waking up from the last track, I was hoping for something a little more exciting for the next song and I was actually surprised with this one.  KOKIA’s vocals take a deeper tone and she sounds beautiful with this strings-based tune that includes bongos.  It’s pretty damn mysterious and definitely reminds me of “Dugong no Sora”.  Epic track ^_^

5. Daijoubu Daijoubu

I guess “Otona no Ookami” was going to be placed between the two tracks because they both don’t do much for me.  Daijoubu Daijoubu is probably one of the quieter songs here since it’s essentially piano and KOKIA.  I’m always for KOKIA ballads and all, but this is lacking something quite terribly and these kind of songs struggle to be memorable (at least to me, this kind of songs don’t do anything cept put me to sleep).

6. Hontou no Oto

I mean, Hontou no Oto does a better job at filling the sound out a whole lot more than “Daijoubu Daijoubu” did.  Still, this song continues this list of songs on the album that just doesn’t pique my interest.  I mean it has piano as well…it’s just a little more broad in sound and that’s it…nothing really to make it pop.

7. Yasashii Shirabe

After taking that lengthy nap, Yasashii Shirabe does somewhat remedy the problem of the album and that’s a good thing.  As basic of a ballad it is with piano and strings, Yasashii Shirabe actually sounds different and KOKIA’s vocals actually made me pay attention, especially with the different tempo changes in the song.  Pretty song overall.

8. Sora Detsu na Gatteru

After so many ballads, it’s kind of nice to get something that has a beat.  It still is pretty slow but I ended up liking this a bit since the tune has a more ethereal vibe when put against the other tracks.  It gets better when the light percussion comes in and KOKIA starts to show her vocal colors a bit better as well.  Not as strong as “Otona no Ookami” but it’s pretty good.

9. Ai to Heiwa to Ongaku to

Ack, another piano-only tune.  The only thing that really stands out on this song is KOKIA’s vocals where she’s hitting high notes with simple ease.  It should be a song that would grab attention since low-lying strings pop up after the first chorus, but it still fails to capture my interest in full…then the marching drums come in and it basically brought me to say it’s like “moment ~Ima wo Ikiru~”. 

10. 5-tsu Me no Kisetsu

At least the vibe for our next song is sounding a bit more happier at least and they brought back the accordion as well.  I can’t believe I’m saying this but that is a godsend after all this on the album.  It sounds pretty good for a ballad and KOKIA’s vocals are pretty grand here.  The thing is that the arrangement feels too light for some reason…at least the accordion parts are sweet enough.

11. Mou Ichido…

This definitely might fit as being the last track well, but we already have a quiet song with the same properties.  I don’t think there’s much that really seperates this and “Daijoubu Daijoubu” much and that’s a pretty bad disappointment.  I will say, it does grow in sound, but it’s shortlived as it goes back to the minimalistic sound.  Sorry we have one, we don’t need another KOKIA!!!

Tracks Recommended

  • Otona no Ookami
  • Yasashii Shirabe
  • te a te
  • 5-tsu Me no Kisetsu

Song of Avoidance

  • Mou Ichido…

KOKIA has always intrigued me with her albums like “THE VOICE” or “REAL WORLD” and her Irish mini.  However, when it came to moment, something went wrong for me.  It seems like she was going for a mediterreanean feel with the title track and 5-tsu Me no Kisetsu but somehow got bored and made the other ballads…well boring and lifeless.  For me, she really bombed after “REAL WORLD”.  Sorry KOKIA, but to keep things alive, you need the music to give it life too….ugh…

 

KOKIA – Sakura no Ki no Shita/Hikari no Kata e May 4, 2011

Filed under: KOKIA — solarblade @ 2:15 am

Track Listing

  1. Sakura no Ki no Shita
  2. Hikari no Kata e
  3. Sakura no Ki no Shita (Instrumental)
  4. Hikari no Kata e (Instrumental)

1. Sakura no Ki no Shita

Oh hey random shimasen that opens up Sakura no Ki no Shita.  While it’s another one of her anime singles, I felt this was a slight step down after “Fate” for sure but this song is pretty a lot less darker than said song.  KOKIA’s vocals of course sound pleasant to listen to and mixed with a little backup here and there to make it sound more ethereal.  It’s definitely good like KOKIA’s other songs, but after “Fate” this is slightly under it.

2. Hikari no Kata e

As for the other A-side on the single, it feels like more of the stuff she released on the digital singles that were leading up to the release of “REAL WORLD”.  What I mean is, it’s pretty much a basic ballad from KOKIA with just piano being the lone melodic property to the song.  Likewise, I wasn’t a fan of the A-sides from the digital releases and it still stands with me.  I guess I’m just that bored when KOKIA does bare-boned music. 

I wonder when we’ll get an album with these anime singles since this single isn’t being featured on her upcoming album, “moment”.  I do think Sakura no Ki no Shita is just as good as her other A-sides of recent (a little better than “Transparent”) but Hikari no Kata e was a bit of a borefest….Like I said, KOKIA does better when the arrangements have spice to em and not so basic.