Kurayami Monogatari

Would love a comment every so often <<

Kou Shibasaki – Yasei no Doumei July 11, 2016

Filed under: Kou Shibasaki — solarblade @ 4:28 am

yasei no doumei

Track Listing

  1. Yasei no Doumei
  2. Memento Diary
  3. Ai to Smile Ai to Smile
  4. Yasei no Doumei (Instrumental)
  5. Memento Diary (Instrumental)
  6. Ai to Smile Ai to Smile (Instrumental)

1. Yasei no Doumei

When I saw that Shiina Ringo was involved with Kou’s next A-side, I was pretty excited because Shiina’s sound is so unique and brings great things to songs.  With Yasei no Doumei, I was quite surprised with the almost Tokyo Jihen-like feel I got, but it has Kou’s soft vocals filtered throughout.  Then the chorus hits and it’s a strange mix of major and minor chords that it just excites me all over.  While it might not be as exciting as “Love Searchlight” was, it’s pretty decent and nice to have in her discography.

2. Memento Diary

Talking about that past A-side, I feel like the first B-side, Memento Diary kind of walks along the same genre and sounds.  I do like the ethereal feel mixed with the guitar flickering and once again drawn in by Kou’s vocals.  The chorus is a bit more rockin’ although a bit short to say the least.  I kind of dug the song, it’s pretty interesting.

3. Ai to Smile Ai to Smile

I wasn’t sure what to make of the 2nd B-side here especially with the intro that has all kinds of weird bells and whistles trying to make a melody.  Though once the acoustic guitar and Kou join in, the song becomes a lot more pleasant and just has this certain walk in the park kind of groove going on.  It’s a quirky and cute song and it turned out well!

 

 

As I hadn’t reviewed this, the 3rd single of the era, Yasei no Doumei feels rather experimental yet so true to Kou’s sound.  Yasei no Doumei is pretty interesting and the whole shifting between chords caught my attention the most.  Memento Diary feels a little bit like “Love Searchlight” and some of the material that was on “CIRCLE CYCLE” with a little synth but a little pop/rock too!  Ai to Smile Ai to Smile though was my favorite here with it’s sunny atmosphere and cute vibes (even if there’s weird things going on with the melody).  Overall great single!

 

Kou Shibasaki – Aoi Hoshi August 26, 2014

Filed under: Kou Shibasaki — solarblade @ 7:20 pm

aoihoshi

Track Listing

  1. Aoi Hoshi
  2. summer day
  3. Namida wa Uchuu ni Furu
  4. Aoi Hoshi (Instrumental)
  5. summer day (Instrumental)
  6. Namida wa Uchuu ni Furu (Instrumental)

1. Aoi Hoshi

After the banging “Love Searchlight”, Kou decided to take things on a slower route with Aoi Hoshi.  Most of the time, she does do mid-temp tracks nicely, but honestly, I don’t think I could remember this song after the review.  I ean it is of quality of course with Kou’s soothing vocals and all, but the arrangement just doesn’t stand out to me.  I think it could grow on my in due time since it’s not all that bad and makes for a solid release after her last single…we’ll see as the era moves forward.

2. summer day

The first B-side, summer day is a little more brighter but contains a lot of the same acoustic guitar here.  As the kind-of feel-good summer track, Kou really made the song just feel nice and pleasant, which is odd to say once again, I don’t think I’ll remember much of this song in the future (unless it makes the album cut).  It’s actually not a bad song and I can easily see myself listening to it when I read, but definitely doesn’t have the lasting power that it could.

3. Namida wa Uchuu ni Furu

The last track really definitely threw me off a loop.  As the last two tracks were more easy listening and relaxing songs, Namida wa Uchuu ni Furu is the antithesis of the single.  What I mean it has a lot of synths and electronic motifs.  Actually, I think the producer is someone who has dabbled in VOCOLOID.  Kou’s vocals sounds slightly computerized (but not at a heavy and distracting level).  Also the tune kind of has an anison sound to it but it could just be me.  It’s alright but a little odd on this single.

 

 

Kou’s 2nd single, Aoi Hoshi to me was just OK at best.  None of the songs are terrible which is great and all, but I don’t feel that the songs on this single are great either, they just kind of are stuck in the middle.  Aoi Hoshi and summer day are nice relaxing songs and Namida wa Uchuu ni Furu was an interesting song, though stuck out lol.  Wondering what will be next!

 

Kou Shibasaki – Love Searchlight April 16, 2014

Filed under: Kou Shibasaki — solarblade @ 1:24 am

lovesearchlight

Track Listing

  1. Love Searchlight
  2. Chikai
  3. Love Searchlight -Instrumental-
  4. Chikai -Instrumental-

1. Love Searchlight

Kou returns to music with Love Searchlight with a pretty funky and cool song!  It sounds like it’s supposed to be a rock track, but there’s synths present and a lot of slap bass (especially in the verses).  I just love the energy of the song and Kou sounds really good along the dance beats and fun instrumentation.  If there was a song to bring back Kou to my favorites, this song would be up there!  Though only 3 minutes long???

2. Chikai

Unlike the fantastic upbeat nature of “Love Searchlight”, Chikai is a more toned down affair…to the point where it does have its Western feels going on.  Kou’s vocals of course are on point and she gives this mid-tempo track a lot of charm IMO.  Might not be better than the A-side, but it’s a solid B-side for the single, maybe she’ll include it on her next album hopefully!

 

 

Has it been over a year since Kou released anything?  Jeeze!  Kou returned with Love Searchlight and this single overall was pretty good.  Love Searchlight has a lot of that great Kou energy that she just has been doing well with in recent times though it could’ve been a little longer.  Chikai was pretty nice and suited her quite nicely…hope this means a good stretch of singles in the future!

 

Kou Shibasaki – Lyrical*Wonder December 18, 2012

Filed under: Kou Shibasaki — solarblade @ 7:29 am

lyricalwonder

Track Listing

  1. Koimoriuta
  2. Mata, Umareru Koro ni wa
  3. Strength
  4. My Perfect Blue
  5. Mou, Inai yo
  6. Waraou Kana -5 p.m.-
  7. traffic jam
  8. Chi no Iro
  9. you & me
  10. ANOTHER:WORLD
  11. cosmic rainbow
  12. Yukuyuku wa
  13. Waraou Kana -7 a.m.-

1. Koimoriuta

Kou’s album opens up quietly with Koimoriuta and I’m happy she started the album off with a ballad since it seems that’s what she was going for for most of the era was more of that lighter and poppy vibe.  I’m a little surprised with the simplicity of the song because it’s two piano notes going back forth which leaves Kou to take the reins with her voice.  It does kind of come off as a bit repetitive, but I really liked her voice here…it was soft and fluffy and just cute…though the song could’ve had more layers going on…

2. Mata, Umareru Koro ni wa

As the song to promote the album, I was pleasantly taken aback by Mata, Umareru Koro ni wa.  I was a bit surprised that something so effervescent and cute came into this song and it really makes “Koimoriuta” look really crappy next to it hahah.  I feel like this song sounds like it would be a perfect song in some fairyland.  Yeah this is pretty damn amazing and an equally amazing choice to promote the album!

3. Strength

Onto some of the songs we’ve already heard before, Strength comes first and I loved the funky riffs out of this tune for sure and Kou sounded really pretty and was the total opposite of “Mou, Inai yo” as this kind of has this getting up in the morning kind of feel to it.  Very breezy as well (especially during the slower part of the song).  It’s just a playful track and really stuck out during the era.  Awesome!

4. My Perfect Blue

I’ve noticed the album is kind of on this very light pop train-track and after “Strength” we slow down back to a ballad with the primary A-side of the third single represnting the album.  I’ve said not too long ago that it was a really well-done ballad and once again sounds a LOT more intriguing than “Koimoriuta”.  It just had the right amount of dramatics and Kou sounded WONDERFUL in the song…it would be my favorite ballad if it hadn’t been because of…

5. Mou, Inai yo

This song which was the B-side of “Strength”.  It’s a REALLY beautiful song as well as it’s softly sung and like I said about it’s A-side, it’s kind of the opposite where this sounds like a tune played on a boat at night where the moon is shining bright.  It really painted a picture for me and I LOVE songs that can do that to me.  Like I said, VERY pretty and one of my favorites from the album!!!

6. Waraou Kana -5 p.m.-

After those great songs, I thought we had an interlude coming up, but Waraou Kana is actually a full song.  I was curious with this song because it kind of has this cute appearance that surprised even me.  It was a bit strange because it kind of had horns all over the place and overall it felt like an idol song almost haha, but that could be from Kou’s higher pitch as well.  Cute and different though it doesn’t work as the bridge into “traffic jam”.

7. traffic jam

I didn’t think synths would start traffic jam into this kind of electropop/ethereal track…it’s kind of a strange mix, but I approve of this because it’s so floaty and the arrangement is quite catchy.  Add in Kou’s distant-sounding vocals and It’s really an interesting feel.  I’m not sure how else to really describe it but it stands out in a really good way!

8. Chi no Iro

I was kind of wondering how this song would sound since the title translates to Color of Blood and you can’t really assume it’s going to be a bad ass track.  This song though is a bit chaotic and kind of messy compared to the other tracks no thanks to that annoying drum section.  Then it kind of moves into this section where Kou cites random English words.  Yeah, this is kind of bad and REALLY out of place on the album.

9. you & me

After that really absurd track beforehand, you & me tones things WAYYYYY down again for this mid-tempo ditty that really has a nice groove to it.  I’m surprised this wasn’t placed near “Strength” because the whole Starbucks sound is really charming and Kou’s voice is smooth and very pleasant to listen to.

10. ANOTHER:WORLD

As the second A-side for the era, ANOTHER:WORLD is upbeat and energetic in a good way (unlike “Chi no Iro”).  This song kind of popped up so suddenly after the last track so the burst of energy was a surprise so to speak.  I do like how it brings something to the album and it stands out nicely because I liked it on the single and it worked smoothly here as well! 

11. cosmic rainbow

Lord, the album’s longest track, cosmic rainbow is definitely a surprise for me and one of the cooler songs!  It’s like technopop, but has that same ethereal tone like “traffic jam”.  It continues to grow and it really found myself just loving this entirely.  I just love the glossy feel of it for some reason and for being 7 minutes, it really flew by me without problems….SO ❤

12. Yukuyuku wa

After all that electro fest, it was a little strange getting into Yukuyuku wa which is all natural.  I wasn’t too thrilled about the song when I first reviewed it on the single alongside “My Perfect Blue” but here it really is kind of a weird song on the album.  I still think Kou sounds boring and the arrangement is a bit like The Beatles.  It just was one of the more boring tracks IMO.

13. Waraou Kana -7 a.m.-

Ehhh? Another Waraou Kana?  Unlike the other one in the middle of the album, this is kind of a bit more upbeat and some instrumental changes.  Actually there’s a lot more of synths present in this version but ultimately it’s really the same song so I really am unsure why there’s two versions…minus the times it’s supposed to reflect.

Tracks Recommended

  • Mata, Umareru Koro ni wa
  • Mou, Inai yo
  • cosmic rainbow
  • My Perfect Blue
  • traffic jam

Song of Avoidance

  • Chi no Iro

If you were expecting another “Love Paranoia” or “CIRCLE CYCLE” then prepare to be surprised by this one.  I think with Lyrical*Wonder, she went for a MUCH lighter route which profited her because she sounds really pretty through most of this…the only rock track, Chi no Iro, was a hot mess and is the only reason this album wasn’t perfect lol…yeah this is a great album *RECOMMENDED*

 

Kou Shibasaki – My Perfect Blue/Yukuyuku wa October 30, 2012

Filed under: Kou Shibasaki — solarblade @ 9:32 pm

Track Listing

  1. My Perfect Blue
  2. Yukuyuku wa
  3. My Perfect Blue -Instrumental-
  4. Yukuyuku wa -Instrumental-

1. My Perfect Blue

I have to say that Kou found the right person to produce My Perfect Blue because it’s just so pretty to listen to and Kou sounds amazing pulling it off as well.  It still is pretty much a piano/strings with drums kind of ballad, but this actually fit since it’s light and flows smoothly the entire way.  This is a pretty good ballad from her, not as awesome as “Mou, Inai yo” but still for an A-side it’s great!

2. Yukuyuku wa

The other A-side on the single, Yukuyuku wa is the upbeat one off the single and it kind of reminds me of Maaya Sakamoto’s stuff from “You can’t catch me”.  It’s got this simple beat to it that kind of reminds me of something The Beatles would have done long ago.  My only qualm about the song I have is that Kou’s vocals don’t seem to energetic here so it kind of bores me…strange how that works.

 

 

As the third and final single for the era, My Perfect Blue/Yukuyuku wa is a good single but it isn’t as good as “Strength”.  My Perfect Blue is a really good ballad from her and really stands out in recent times.  Yukuyuku wa would’ve been better if she sounded more livelier and less bored but that’s just me.  Overall not bad.

 

Kou Shibasaki – ANOTHER:WORLD July 2, 2012

Filed under: Kou Shibasaki — solarblade @ 5:42 am

Track Listing

  1. ANOTHER:WORLD
  2. Adrasteia no Teikou
  3. ANOTHER:WORLD -ANOTHER:FUTURE Remix- (Regular only)
  4. ANOTHER:WORLD -Instrumental-

1. ANOTHER:WORLD

That intro to ANOTHER:WORLD really was something else.  It actually kind of reminds me of school food punishment for some reason.  The track finds ourselves with Kou taking more of a pop/rock/experimentive sound and I quite like the sound of it.  Maybe a little anime-esque for color which is pretty awesome but otherwise it’s a solid song from her.

2. Adrasteia no Teikou

Interesting title for our B-side and funny enough carries the same feelings that I had for the lead track.  I mean it has the same stuff going on but with piano being in the front and not so much the guitars and stuff.  I don’t find it very much different sadly, but it kind of works as the coupling.

 3. ANOTHER:WORLD -ANOTHER:FUTURE Remix-

Well it seems like there’s an actual remix on the single and definitely true to it’s nature, it changes ANOTHER:WORLD to a more electro-heavy track and I kind of like the sound of it.  It’s very buzzy and the beats are nice and heavy.  I wasn’t a big fan of the copy and pasting technique that are going on, but this remix is fun and took the song to a better level.

 

 

While ANOTHER:WORLD as a whole didn’t impress me as much as “Strength.” did, it is a good single.  Both the lead track and Adrasteia no Teikou were a bit similar to one another but they were nice and upbeat and different which I love about Kou’s music and the remix kind of broke the monotony the single had.  Hope her next single is ass kickin!!!

 

Kou Shibasaki – Strength March 13, 2012

Filed under: Kou Shibasaki — solarblade @ 8:19 pm

Track Listing

  1. Strength
  2. Mou, Inai yo
  3. Strength -Instrumental-

1. Strength

For a song that’s titled Strength, I wasn’t fully expecting Kou to make it something totally different than I had in mind and I like that little twist.  I love the string bass and clapping rhythm going on as well.  It kind of gives the song a retro feel that’s nice to listen to.  Add in splashes of synths and it’s a very pretty little tune here.  Entirely different from anything back in the “CIRCLE CYCLE” era so this is a new and fresh start for her.

2. Mou, Inai yo

The B-side of the single takes things at an even lighter viewpoint with acoustic guitar and what I think is a harmonica (but it doesn’t really feel like it’s literally played.  I’m even surprised that the song also has a male backup to sing along with her in the chorus which is a nice move.  Very relaxing of a song but it’s got so much charm that I can’t help but love the hell out of it.

 

 

Starting a new era off, Strength was surprisingly good.  Despite my lack of interest in “CIRCLE CYCLE’s” singles except for “wish”, Strength brought back a little more of cute within Kou’s sound and she’s sounding quite nicely. Mou, Inai yo though was pretty awesome.  It got the feeling of night time just right and the softly sung Kou fit the mood even better.  Definitely *RECOMMENDED* here.