Kurayami Monogatari

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LIL – Synchronize July 8, 2014

Filed under: LIL — solarblade @ 7:24 am

synchronize

Track Listing

  1. SURF MIND
  2. Watching you feat. WISE
  3. Girl in the mirror
  4. METRO-L feat. Tamaki ROY
  5. Carnival
  6. Just a Way
  7. my favorite song
  8. S.Y.N.C.
  9. BLACK WALL feat. MIYAVI
  10. Beach!!!
  11. What time is it now?
  12. Teen’s wave
  13. Get Over
  14. DANCE on The FLOOR (KOZM(R) REMIX)
  15. Watching you feat. WISE (DEXPISTOLS Remix)

1. SURF MIND

LIL’s album opens with SURF MIND and it does a little had something sounding like waves at first but then moved away to this kind of funky, electronic feel which is pretty wild.  ucio adds a lot of attitude to the song which is nice, but there’s something off about this song, like it’s a remix that doesn’t work with its original sound.  I suppose it’s a good start to the album, but nothing I’m totally all over for.

2. Watching you feat. WISE

As the only single released for the album, Watching you was an odd choice to promote because I was not a fan of WISE in this tune.  Luckily TSUGE saved the song with such a pretty cool arrangement that almost brings more pop style to the track.  ucio did a good job with singing along though I wasn’t a big fan of the warbling auto-tune effects.  Meh, it’s alright, but nothing fully special.

3. Girl in the mirror

Moving onto all the new tracks, Girl in the mirror brings on the synthpop and this actually caught my attention more than the first two tracks did luckily.  I’m sucker for the chords from the synths and ucio actually sings with less auto-tune which is a GREAT thing.  I felt like this had a really cool dance feel and the arrangement is just winning me all over.  Now THIS is what should’ve begun the album and not “SURF MIND”.  Awesome song!

4. METRO-L feat. Tamaki ROY

Another collaborative effort with someone I’m not fond of?  METRO-L starts off mysteriously with ucio ad-libbing her lines out before the pulsing beats take over and it comes off almost trance-like which is a surprise.  Funny enough, ROY’s rapping sections don’t detract from the energetic arrangement it actually helped it!  Even when ucio does fully come in, the song just doesn’t let up!  It’s a definite party jam and one of the cooler ones!

5. Carnival

Luckily the title did not literally mean much.  I was expecting some freaky clown music but not some funky and dance/pop with this track.  We’re back to more auto-tuned ucio but it kind of works here with the groovy guitar riffs and TSUGE’s arrangement.  I liked it, safer than a lot of other songs on the album, but it’s an interesting tune that does some tricks.  Fun tune!

6. Just a Way

When ucio opens our next track, I thought it was gonna be a straight up pop song from the duo but that idea is quickly blown away when the arrangement switches to this futuristic tune…I’m not sure where it lands genre-wise but it’s definitely unique.  It does feel like ucio is shouting the song, but I suppose it’s alright.  Odd song, but definitely LIL.

7. my favorite song

As the album’s shortest tune, I was curious to what is this all about and having such a title.  I found myself lulzing with the squeaky synth arrangement.  It does seem like it’s an interlude on the album focusing on TSUGE’s style with ucio only saying the title at various points.  It’s an interesting interlude, but could be annoying sometimes (if I’m not having a good day).

8. S.Y.N.C.

Our next track brings us back into full tunes and I like the sound of the opening.  Actually this is the first track where I felt like LIL were making this an easy to swallow track.  It’s straightforward and ucio is handling it well and it’s nice because we get to hear her hit some higher notes too.  It’s not one of my favorites, but it’s not a terrible track at least.

9. BLACK WALL feat. MIYAVI

I never expected MIYAVI to collaborate with LIL at all.  BLACK WALL does have a mixture of synths with guitar riffs from our collaborator.  The grittier setting does make this tune stick out a lot which is pretty neat and gave ucio more ability to just ooze personality here.  I kind of thought we’d hear a little from MIYAVI too, but eh.  It is a little wild and messy in places, but I like how edgy this song is…pretty cool!

10. Beach!!!

After that song we lighten up the atmosphere with once again, something more poppy from the group.  Well, at least lighter than “BLACK WALL”.  It’s just as quick and slightly messy in the arrangement, but there’s something about it that works?  I don’t know but it’s something else lol.  ucio though is the winner here as she once again MAKES the track work.  Overall good!

11. What time is it now?

There’s something strange with our next time but I can’t put my thumb on it quite yet.  The synths are a bit more gritty to listen to, but the tune gets more energetic but I don’t know why but ucio’s performance felt lacking but then again the arrangement was kind of going in different places.  I just can’t get myself into this tune.

12. Teen’s wave

I love the ethereal sounds that open up Teen’s wave and honestly once the beat kicks in, it feels like an 80’s New Wave mixed in with electro.  Honestly it could’ve been set between disco and new wave and I would’ve just sold my soul for it.  It’s just a fun track to just bounce to and sounds wonderful to my ears 😀

13. Get Over

Hearing minor chords opening with Get Over sent me some odd signals but once the song actually moves on, the song turns into another cool/upbeat track.  ucio once again shines alongside TSUGE’s arrangement of course.  Amongst the other songs it does die off for me but it’s non-offensive and the more flowing parts are just great!  Still hmmm…

14. DANCE on The FLOOR (KOZM(R) REMIX)

Even though “Get Over” ended the main tracklist, we get two remixes for the end.  First is of a song that was from their first album, “LIPS IN LUSH”.  Being a 7 minute club remix, DANCE on The FLOOR really uses repetition gets by which is a pretty lame thing to do.  It’s just really long and hard to pay attention to such a remix sadly.

15. Watching you feat. WISE (DEXPISTOLS Remix)

I recognize both remixers at the least so seeing DEXPISTOLS, I was a little worried since I wasn’t a big fan of the remixes.  Adding on with my rather low interest in the original I was wondering how it can be remixed. I do love the string bass and funny enough worked around WISE’s raps.  It’s an interesting remix and honestly worked better but ucio’s pronunciations stick out like a sore thumb…it bothers me xD

Tracks Recommended

  • Girl in the mirror
  • Carnival
  • Teen’s wave
  • METRO-L feat. Tamaki ROY
  • BLACK WALL feat. MIYAVI

Song of Avoidance

  • What time is it now?

Yeah I know I’m reviewing this after I did their debut and 3rd album, “L2”.  Coming back to their sophomore album, I was surprised that the duo went more mainstream for this album.  Something about Synchronize did feel off though and it could’ve been the more mainstream synthpop feel here.  TSUGE’s arrangements are solid but sometimes they don’t quite work especially with how unique ucio’s voice can be.  Though they did have some gems on here and working with other artists actually worked…hmmm…

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LIL – L2 August 3, 2012

Filed under: LIL — solarblade @ 7:06 am

Track Listing

  1. INTRO
  2. Make You Smile
  3. Koi wa PUSH! feat. HALCALI
  4. REMEMBER
  5. LUCKY STAR
  6. My little song
  7. Sunny Place
  8. Jelly fish
  9. Touch Me
  10. 99
  11. Runaway
  12. WALK
  13. My shine, Your shine feat. the telephones <Ryohei & Seiji>
  14. Girls☆Around <Album Version>
  15. THIS LOVE
  16. Make You Smile <tofubeats remix> (bonus track)
  17. 99 <TeddyLoid Remix> (bonus track)

1. INTRO

Opening the album up, INTRO is kind of cool and quite airy at the intro with some odd instrumentation actually.  Then TSUGE adds a beat to it and it kind of flows from there and I thought it was pretty cool for being 1:30 in length.

2. Make You Smile

Moving into our first vocal track, Make You Smile is definitely a good and upbeat electropop song with awesome synths and ucio’s cool vocals.  Actually the arrangement feels like something that eeriely sounds like Crystal Kay’s sound in “VIVID”.  It’s pretty similar lol.  There’s also the interlude with the vocal hack n’ slash (similar to Beyonce’s “Girls”), that was a bit weird but worked.  Good first song ^_^

3. Koi wa PUSH! feat. HALCALI

The leading A-side from their second single for the album, Koi wa PUSH! was pretty interesting and totally swerved the duo for something a bit more funky (like the “LIPS IN LUSH” album).  The HALCALI gals do lead while ucio has the bridge and chorus.  I don’t know why but I’m a little bit frowny towards the Engrish in the song…it just sounds odd to hear both HALCALI and ucio say ~poosh your hands~ and ~brooosh your haaair~…just a little negative.  It’s still a pretty cool track.

4. REMEMBER

Onto REMEMBER, the song does go back to more of a clubbier sound and I have to say that I kind of enjoyed what I was hearing in this song.  ucio sounds particularly pleasant here and the arrangement isn’t too hard and doesn’t take away from the lyrics.  It’s a really cool track and one of my early favorites.

5. LUCKY STAR

The highlight of this whole era was LUCKY STAR because it’s just all kinds of badass.  I love the heavy electro sound of the song and ucio’s vocals really stuck out in my mind.  I think TSUGE did an amazing job with the arrangement which isn’t heavy but has this cool and sweet riff going.  I don’t know but I loved this song!

6. My little song

Getting into a couple new songs, the first we get is My little song which is a total opposite to “LUCKY STAR” with it’s ethereal techno arrangement which gives ucio a little more room to stand out with her vocals.  I think it’s one of those times where I wished she wasn’t under auto-tune because while it works for the lower notes, it gets screwy with the higher notes.  Overall, it’s light and I like that about this song.

7. Sunny Place

At least it moves into one of the surprises of the album which is awesome.  Sunny Place begins like it’s a morning tune with piano and synths.  It’s quickly replaced with ucio and synths and oddly enough she has little auto-tune plugged on her and it’s beautiful.  ucio was able to show her powerful her vocals can get and I’m just kind of blown away from this track…it’s really cool! 

8. Jelly fish

After that glorious tune, Jelly fish kind of slides in and is also quite lowkey and ethereal which is pretty sweet on TSUGE.  They say ~like a jellyfish~ and then the song kind of rolls along like a wave.  That’s when I found out it was the album’s interlude clocking in at about a 1:20.  I’m sure they could’ve done more with it but what we got isn’t bad.

9. Touch Me

I feel like I’ve heard the synths somewhere before which is odd but cool in a way.  I like that the arrangement changes before ucio sings which turns the song into a gritty and awesome electro song.  It’s one of the more aggressive songs on the album which I’ll admit and I enjoyed every minute of it.

10. 99

The secondary A-side from the second single is probably my least favorite of the A-sides but it fits coming after “Touch Me” because they both have a lot of beats (though 99 is lighter).  I’m also hearing ucio once again without auto-tune for some parts of the song and it sounds nice.  It’s still growing on me which is a good sign.

11. Runaway

Back to new tracks, Runaway begins with synths and piano before getting into an interesting setup.  It sounds like an 80’s new wave song but without the bright synths to accompany it.  I would say that it’s the album’s first miss because while I enjoyed the verses, the chorus kind of felt like it was lacking…I don’t know, but this song isn’t hitting me well…Once again, I wished ucio was singing without the auto-tune.

12. WALK

When I heard WALK the first thing that went through my mind is that the song sounds like something Sleigh Bells would be all for.  ucio isn’t exactly singing in the song but she’s doing more of this chanting/rapping thing and that kind of pushed me away from the song.  I like the experimentation here but this is just odd on this album…maybe a little too awkward-placed?

13. My shine, Your shine feat the telephones <Ryohei & Seiji>

The second of the collaborative songs, My shine, Your shine mixes the duo’s electro style with the telephones’ guitarwork and I thought that was a pretty cool mix because this song has a more progressive but similar feel to “Sunny Place”.  I like this a lot and it stood out from the album a lot more smoothly than “WALK” did.

14. Girls☆Around <Album Version>

Since I didn’t review this digital single (there was no other tracks like the other two singles) I missed out on Girls☆Around.  At least getting into this, it really instills a party atmosphere and it’s a pretty fun song to listen to actually.  TSUGE did a lot of great things with this song and it’s just a cool dance track to well…dance to!  Though I do question that rock-infused dubstep breakdown…good lord no TSUGE…

15. THIS LOVE

I really wished they had left this song off the album because I just thought it was a poorly done cover of Maroon 5’s big hit.  Since it is the final track before the bonuses, THIS LOVE doesn’t seem to really fit as the ending song like “Girls☆Around”.  I mean the song suffers from some weird auto-tune blips and ucio’s English is at an all time low here.  I just can’t take the song seriously as a LIL thing…it was bad…

16. Make You Smile <tofubeats remix>

After the album finishes we get two bonuses (which are remixes and only one of them is new).  I was kind of scared listening to the song because that intro has Skrillex cut n’ paste all over it.  Tobubeats remixes are hit and miss for me and this kind of comes off as a bit of a miss, simply because the song has weird bits about it like the intro and other places where it happens.  I do like the piano but it’s kind of ruined.  I don’t like it…

17. 99 <TeddyLoid Remix>

Just why?  I mean I didn’t like it much on the single so I wished it wasn’t here.  Like I said on the single review, it is sort of good because it has a harder sound than the original and all but it was pretty much ruined with the dubstep insertions.  I just couldn’t get myself back into things even after it passes by.

Tracks Recommended

  • Sunny Place
  • LUCKY STAR
  • Touch Me
  • My shine, Your shine feat. the telephones <Ryohei & Seiji>
  • 99

Song of Avoidance

  • THIS LOVE

I guessing getting into the duo’s 3rd major album, L2 is pretty damn good…well maybe.  Everything before Jelly fish was really up to standards and brought a lot of things LIL fans loved to hear.  Though everything after the interlude went more for an experimentive look and it was hit or miss with those songs and the final three tracks were just EWWWW.  It’s still a pretty good electro album despite not many coming out this year.

 

LIL – Koi wa PUSH! feat. HALCALI/99 June 18, 2012

Filed under: LIL — solarblade @ 3:17 am

Track Listing

  1. Koi wa PUSH! feat. HALCALI
  2. 99
  3. 99 (TeddyLoid Remix)

1. Koi wa PUSH! feat. HALCALI

HALCALI aren’t a new name for me and I’ve heard a couple of their songs before but now we see them being the collaborators with LIL for this single.  The song is definitely them since it’s heavily synthed up and such which is great to hear from LIL. I am surprised that ucio doesn’t have as much input as the duo of HALCALI does but I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised.  I will admit that ucio’s parts are more memorable than the lines from the duo but it didn’t matter…I liked what we ended up with and I can’t help but get that chorus stuck in my head!

2. 99

The other A-side on the single is more along the lines of what we’ve come to enjoy from the duo and it’s just a great electro song!  ucio once again seems to mesmerize me with her vocals which are quite unique to my ears.  I definitely enjoyed the more smoother parts with her rather than the chorus.  It does have a “Synchonize” feel but it’s not bad and I could get into loving the song…but right now “Koi wa PUSH!” and “LUCKY STAR” still outrank it.

3. 99 (TeddyLoid Remix)

Finally, we have a remix of 99 from TeddyLoid and I was hoping for something quite great because usually I love TeddyLoid remixes and at first I was in love with it because it has more punch and flow.  Then things begun to drop when dubstep enters the field and my interest dropped off.  There are parts where it worked but majority of it was just a headache to get through.  Minus the dubstep breakdowns. the remix wasn’t too bad and it carried the spark of the original in a more club-friendly way.

 

 

As the second and final single to close before LIL releases their album, “L2”, Koi wa PUSH!/99 isn’t a bad single at all and is a much better package than “LUCKY STAR” was.  Koi wa PUSH! was a pretty good collaboration and makes for a great A-side.  99 was also pretty rad too since it was just TSUGE and ucio doing what they do best.  The remix might be the song that I liked the lease but clearly the only reason I didn’t like it was because of the dubstep shit…TEDDYLOID GET OFF THAT BOAT!!!!

 

LIL – LUCKY STAR February 14, 2012

Filed under: LIL — solarblade @ 1:13 am

Track Listing

  1. LUCKY STAR
  2. THIS LOVE
  3. THIS LOVE (Exclusive Club Mix)
  4. LUCKY STAR (Instrumental)
  5. THIS LOVE (Instrumental)

1. LUCKY STAR

It’s been a while since we’ve heard from the duo so it’s nice they came back with LUCKY STAR which brings back the group’s more grittier club sound and I approve of that for sure.  Of course ucio is under a lot of auto-tune but her unique vocals still stand out and it sounds a lot better than a lot of stuff from “LIPS IN LUSH”.  Still, I find myself enjoying the arrangement from TSUGE…it’s impressive and he does transition into different styles like a little march and even smaller touch of dubstep.  Most of the time though it’s straightforward electro and I enjoyed it a lot!

2. THIS LOVE

The B-side of the release is actually a cover of the well-known Maroon 5 song and I was surprised they’d actually cover an American tune.  Unlike the bouncy, happy pop/rock of the original it’s giving an electro touch and I’m sad to say but I didn’t really enjoy it very much.  I actually would’ve preferred ucio without the auto-tune for the song and the arranging during the chorus was weak and quite bluntly annoying for me.  Meh…

3. THIS LOVE (Exclusive Club Edit)

Which is weird because the club edit did make it a little easier to listen to but it has a lot of the same elements (granted because it’s just lengthened to be used in clubs and all that).  I hear a little more piano and guitars as well which is odd because I didn’t pay attention enough there.  I still don’t really enjoy it since the same problems from the original are here as well. 

 

 

As it’s a digital release, I would’ve thought they’d do well putting it out for physical release because LUCKY STAR is actually pretty good for them.  Then again it was the only real good song on the single.  THIS LOVE isn’t really suited for them and to me it felt a little jagged and unpolished.  I guess it would’ve worked better without all the auto-tune but it’s w/e…

 

LIL – Watching you feat. WISE December 22, 2011

Filed under: LIL — solarblade @ 7:32 am

Track Listing

  1. Watching you feat. WISE
  2. ALBUM DIGEST ~LIL HOUSE MIX~ from “Synchronize” & “LIPS IN LUSH”
  3. Watching you feat. WISE (Instrumental)

1. Watching you feat. WISE

LIL’s first single is interesting since it’s a collaboration with WISE who it off and on with me when he MCs.  ucio sounds a lot stronger than she did I think and while I do dislike hearing her under auto-tune, she’s not under it a lot and she has pretty clear vocals.  TSUGE’s arrangement is also quite nice since it’s electro, but classy haha.  I wish there was a version of this song without WISE, but it’s whatever and I still enjoyed it overall.

2. ALBUM DIGEST ~LIL HOUSE MIX~ from “Synchronize” & “LIPS IN LUSH”

Like the title implies we get previews from the upcoming album, “Synchronize” and some stuff from their already released “LIPS IN LUSH” album.  The idea isn’t a totally new one at that but it’s good if you’re wanting a little sneak peak with this 9+ minute track.  I’m thinking this album is going to be a bit different to their first but it sounds hopeful here.

 

 

Being the lone single released for “Synchronize”, Watching you was alright but I still think it would sound so much better without WISE.  Otherwise I’m enjoying the song and I liked the little previews on the album digest…showcasing many sides to LIL.  Yeah, pretty good here! ^^

 

LIL – LIPS IN LUSH March 6, 2011

Filed under: LIL — solarblade @ 12:45 pm

Track Listing

  1. LIPS IN LUSH
  2. me, too
  3. LESSON ONE
  4. DANCE on The FLOOR
  5. “MOSHI MOSHI” RADIO
  6. SUPERSONIC
  7. BLOCK OUT
  8. Flashback Love
  9. “MOSHI MOSHI” RADIO (TeddyLoid Remix)

1. LIPS IN LUSH

Opening the album up, LIPS IN LUSH wastes no time in getting into the synths this duo has been known for.  I was surprised by the amount of synths, vocal layering and overall electro goodness that came with the song despite being mostly an intro.  It’s not a bad opening and gives a good taste of what’s to come on the album.

2. me, too

As the album’s promotional song (I think), me, too really sends the notion that this is definitely an electro album hands down.  While the beginning feels like it makes the song into a club mix, it’s actually the full track and used in the PV as well.  Now this is our first taste of ucio’s vocals and I kind of enjoy them since there’s a good amount of English here and it’s good.  I do think the music sounds way Americanized in the ways of arrangement, but I like that…it’s different from the Takus and Nakata and Osawa’s XD….You can thank TSUGE.  Good first track and the video is so wtf btw.

3. LESSON ONE

If things couldn’t have moved over a whole lot, LESSON ONE will definitely make you question things.  The music felt like it was going to be a rock song and with the edgy and attitude style ucio was pulling off it was like a twist of different worlds.  I like the heavier trance style mixed with guitars of course and of course ucio reminds me of MiChi in the attitude.  The chorus is a bit surprising because it gains more melodies and she’s singing longer held notes.  I was pleasantly surprised with this song for sure.

4. DANCE on The FLOOR

Hey, dark mood for our next song it seems?  I guess not, but the song really will want you to move to the dancefloor and get it down.  The music is dance music and I love that for sure…but ucio’s Engrish side comes out and some of the song is kind of hard to read.  As for the song, it’s good for sure, but I feel there’s some bass missing for the chorus…it just feels like it’s missing the pulsing beat that the verses had…strange right? 

5. “MOSHI MOSHI” RADIO

Probably the poppiest song off the album, “MOSHI MOSHI” RADIO reminds me of a Lady Gaga song, but with more oomphs toward the synths more than anything else.  I think right now this might be least favorite track because of it’s likeness to various songs that have a similar pull.  Britney’s “Womanizer” and Ayumi Sakai’s “STRONG BODY” says hi!

6. SUPERSONIC

I love the pounding synths as well that open the song and it carries throughout for our next song on the album.  I actually think it’s one of TSUGE’s more interesting songs and it has ucio really trying to stand out and she does, but I still don’t know what she’s saying half the time.  Her vocals now are starting to sound unique since she’s hitting a broader line of notes. 

7. BLOCK OUT

I love how ucio opens up BLOCK OUT by all that yelling under filters.  Either way, if you liked “me, too” you will find solace here as well because the beats are hard and the synths are all over the place in this song making it for a fun electro song.  Even the solos TSUGE has give it a twist to the song.  I approve for sure.

8. Flashback Love

I really enjoyed the overall sound of Flashback Love for some reason.  It’s probably because it has its own essence and flow that doesn’t seem to resonate through the other song.  It’s more electro-pop than the others.  The only thing I felt like was a setback was that ucio was under a lot of filters and it kind of makes me roll my eyes.  Still, it’s a pretty good song otherwise XD.

9. “MOSHI MOSHI” RADIO (TeddyLoid Remix)

Closing the album is a remix of what wasn’t the promotional track (odd choice), TeddyLoid for me is more prevalent because of his works he did for MIYAVI.  Anyways, the remix is probably the fastest on the album, but it’s also a remix so there’s places where it gets rather odd and repetitive in others…but TeddyLoid did the best he could and he’s got some great moments.

Tracks Recommended

  • LESSON ONE
  • Flashback Love
  • SUPERSONIC

Song of Avoidance

  • “MOSHI MOSHI” RADIO

Being as this is LIL’s debut album, I was surprised to find that this was actually an impressive debut and electro album from the duo.  While they sure do have an Americanized outlook with the arrangements, I like that it works for them and ucio is a pretty cool singer…but there’s so Engrish going and high notes aren’t exactly her best work….  Still, it’s very passable.