Kurayami Monogatari

Would love a comment every so often <<

MAA – Feel It!/Blue (Chikyuu) January 10, 2013

Filed under: MAA — solarblade @ 2:35 am

feelit

Track Listing

  1. Feel It!
  2. Blue (Chikyuu)

1. Feel It!

I was curious to what MAA would pull out for her major label debut and Feel It! is an odd track to say the least.  It begins with some chanting which kind of threw me off at first but once that passage ends, the actual song begins and I’m loving the synths along with MAA’s vocals.  The arrangement is a bit edgy, like as if she was going back to “Ghost Enemy”.  It’s not a bad song, but it’s definitely not nearly as great as her last couple of releases.

2. Blue (Chikyuu)

As for the other A-side, MAA took a much more simpler route for Blue.  I have to say that I really like her voice in this track and she seems to pull off ballads exceptionally (remember “Virgin Killer Santa”?).  It’s just a very broad, but simple track from her.

 

 

As MAA moves onto a major label (strange, I thought she was on a major label…>.<), Feel It!/Blue (Chikyuu) isn’t exactly her best work and it could be first single blues.  I will say that I liked Blue more than Feel It! because we get to hear a stronger voice in such a way through a ballad while Feel It! is a bit more pop/dance but still nice…but neither really surpass her past works…hopefully her second single under Warner will straighten things up and bring back that random, but awesome work MAA has done in her indies days.  Though one thing that NEEDS to change is the cover art…good lord is that ugly…

 

MAA – BubbleMan Engine October 19, 2011

Filed under: MAA — solarblade @ 3:19 am

Track Listing

  1. FREE Virus ZONE
  2. Monkeybone City
  3. GOLD LION
  4. F.B
  5. King&Queen&Kiz
  6. Mayday
  7. No Bra sleep walk
  8. Babysitter Wana
  9. Hangover Payback
  10. New Moon
  11. Ballerina Brain System
  12. OKay
  13. Tomorrow @ Your Kingdom (THE LOWBROWS remix)
  14. come again (bonus track)
  15. Ballerina Brain System -michitomo Remix- (iTunes bonus track)

1. FREE Virus ZONE

Opening up the album is FREE Virus ZONE and already I can tell this album is going to be a much different feel than “Monkey Kingdom” and that’s ok since I like what MAA has been doing so far.  This song started off with a light feel then gets into this deep groove that I pretty much enjoyed the entire track.  I do think it’s quite nice but there’s not much of a hook in the song to remember it by.  Still it’s a nice first track.

2. Monkeybone City

While on the topic of “Monkey Kingdom”, she added three songs from that mini-album.  I was kind of surprised she decided to put in Monkeybone City but then again it was a pretty cool song to listen to since it’s got guitars mixed in with the synths.  I also loved the hook of this song since it was the whole ~make me believe~ being repeated over and over again.  It’s definitely bouncy and a lot more stronger than “FREE Virus ZONE”.

3. GOLD LION

I didn’t think we were going to get something lowkey this early from MAA, but I guess it makes sense which is pretty good.  GOLD LION is kind of more of a synth-pop ballad type and since MAA’s vocals are quite clear for me and it slightly reminds me of “Hangover Payback” but a little more natural sounding.  I do have trouble remembering this song since it doesn’t really have much of a climax going for it but it’s somewhat enjoyable otherwise.

4. F.B

So the B-side from “OKay” makes the album cut and I’m pretty happy to see this song though a little odd coming right after “GOLD LION”.  I will say that most of the songs that are new in this era have been pretty happy and lighter than her previous era tunes and it shows.  F.B also reminds me of “Hangover Payback” in the movement and arrangement but I will say that it’s nice to see the song even though it sounds similar to another one.  Plus, hearing MAA saying ~my favorite booby bitches~ and then gag is just totally hilarious…gawd way to throw a wrench in the song heh!

5. King&Queen&Kiz

Yay! A string of new songs come up next!  I just can’t imagine what she was on when creating this song when the lyrics are beyond understanding like the whole ~gay ass bitch, psycho, do do do do do~.  I just wonder what I was missing out because this song is so random yet pretty awesome even if it doesn’t make sense at first.  I mean the middle of the song where she says random words made me laugh hard.  It’s just crazy wild and I liked it so much!

6. Mayday

After that bag of randomness, it’s nice to get into Mayday which to me comes off as a straightforward kind of electro-pop tune and that’s kind of what I’ve felt for most of this album so far.  Though I love the mysterious atmosphere in this song and using a little bit of sitar was a nice touch as well.  I actually liked this and the light blip of experimentation really worked for this song but I do still love “King&Queen&Kiz” just a little more.

7. No Bra sleep walk

I lulzed at the beginning of this song and continued when the arrangement popped in because it reminds me of video games and the night which totally works with the title of the song.  Again, this is more straightforward of a song but it does it job quite well lol.  I loved the sound of it and MAA really sounds good here even under the filters.

8. Babysitter Wana

Once again, the intro for this song was pretty awesome.  I just love the fact that there’s a lot of clear sounding English in the song.  Some of the synths did get carried over from “No Bra sleep walk” but I don’t mind it that much since I was singing along to the tune’s chorus.  Definitely one of the catchiest choruses of the album to be honest.  MAA’s just into this song for sure and she’s loving it and having fun and I must say it carried to me since I’m having fun listening to the song!

9. Hangover Payback

I’m so happy they added my favorite track from “Monkey Kingdom” onto the album since it’s just a serious yet dance-driven kind of song with some random lyrics in there.  I just love the arrangement for its glowy feel and then mix in MAA’s vocals and you get a powerful little tune and while “Virgin Killer Santa” was powerful because of her vocals, I think Hangover Payback had the other sides covered and it came together in a great package.  I have a hard time deciding if I love it more than “Ballerina Brain System”.

10. New Moon

I wonder if MAA got the idea of the title from the Twilight series of books since it kind of makes sense at least to me hahah.  I mean that the song’s dark and gloomy sound kind of fits the series but then again it’s MAA so it’s also synthy and danceable and it’s a strange mixture but I kind of like it at the same time.  It’s something to listen to for sure!  Sad that it’s the last of the new songs on the album x.x;

11. Ballerina Brain System

Absurd that I find myself reviewing MAA’s 2nd A-side for the third time!  I’m curious to why she added this track alongside “Monkeybone City” and “Hangover Payback” to the album since they are a bit old (especially this one).  Since my last review of the song, I’ve grown to really love this song since it’s different from her songs for being one of the slower tracks in her discography.  Then again it could be that random ass PV and/or the lyrics.  It doesn’t feel out of place on the album either which is great and a good switch from the dark “New Moon”.  Favorite of the two A-sides on the album.

12. OKay

Which is funny since the second A-side released for the era is right after the first.  I’m still confused on why I can’t get myself into this song as much as I did with the B-side, “F.B”.  Like I said on the single review it’s better suited for someone else rather than MAA because she kind of made the song a chore to listen and pay attention and it’s funny that it’s more poppier than other songs on the album. 

13. Tomorrow @ Your Kingdom (THE LOWBROWS remix)

I didn’t think it could get any worse after “OKay” but damnit all that MAA has the godawful remix of Tomorrow @ Your Kingdom on this album when it was already found on the “OKay” single.  Like I said before, I’m not too big of a fan of the original so I hoped THE LOWBROWS did something better.  Unfortunately, the failed hard with this remix.  It just was awkward and warbling synths really created a very strange and noticeable rift between arrangement and vocals.  Even finding out that this is the main final track before bonus tracks bothered me soooo much because it doesn’t work PERIOD!

14. come again

The main bonus track is a song that was originally found on an m-flo tribute album that was released back in April.  I was surprised she covered a m-flo song and that being said, the arrangement style is a bit different since I think Taku took over that part.  I like the song for the most part…right up until VERBAL shows up and does his rap and then I just got annoyed.  Still don’t let him bother ya because MAA did a great job covering this one ^_^

15. Ballerina Brain System -michitomo Remix-

iTunes buyers get a different track and instead get a remix of Ballerina Brain System from the “GOSSIP” V.A which has tones of dance tracks/remixes on it.  The funny thing about it is that it’s a remix but the lyrics are all in English which is a nice surprise for people that loved the original (like me).  I must say, michitomo did a MUCH better job remixing than THE LOWBROWS did >.>  Now MAA’s English here is kind of questionable here and it does get covered up by the synths.  Sadly, the verses are missing and the chorus is the only things that’s really touched upon.  It’s interesting, but I widh there wasn’t so much repetition going on.

Tracks Recommended

  • Hangover Payback
  • Ballerina Brain System
  • King&Queen&Kiz
  • Babysitter Wana
  • New Moon

Song of Avoidance

  • Tomorrow @ Your Kingdom (THE LOWBROWS remix)

I must say that MAA’s first studio album is quite a hit for me!  While the whole electro-pop/techno phase in Japan is basically over since the Hallyu Wave and AKB are taking over the airwaves, MAA came in at a strange time and she’s definitely putting herself out there with such humorous lyrics and catchy synthwork.  BubbleMan Engine really shows off her skills and while the album fell way flat starting at OKay to the end of the album, the rest of the album was pretty strong.  Like a few other people said, it’s a bit of a mood switch from the darker “Monkey Kingdom” but I thought it was a good enough move, but she needs more songs like that in her next era!

 

MAA – OKay July 21, 2011

Filed under: MAA — solarblade @ 1:14 am

Track Listing

  1. OKay
  2. F.B
  3. Tomorrow @ Your Kingdom -THE LOWBROWS Remix-

1. OKay

Ahhhh, so I guess it seems MAA decided to take things to a different route with OKay which feels like a mix of her last album and a new direction since the track is lighter than her two previous singles.  It’s nice that it’s different from them but at the same time I feel slightly uninterested in the song for some reason.  It might be from the slower tempo or from expecting that she’d be epic.  I must say I could see immi singing this instead but this is alright.

2. F.B

F.B falls into the same category as “OKay” since it’s also pretty light compared to some of the stuff she released on “Monkey Kingdom” but I actually fell for this one.  I’m liking MAA and the amount of vocal layering that helps her out and the arrangement is a bit more synthetic and stuffs.  Not much else to say, but this was great.

3. Tomorrow @ Your Kingdom -THE LOWBROWS Remix-

Closing the single out is a remix of one of MAA’s B-side from her debut single, “Ghost Enemy”.  THE LOWBROWS isn’t a new name for me seeing as I reviewed some of the other remixes they did for various artists.  I also will say that they don’t really stand out for me and most of their remixes ruin the song for me.  Sadly, I stand by that rule since this felt awkward and unusually slow and the synths just were messy…I’m sorry but the original or GTFO!

 

 

I’m not surprised that MAA starts off an era with a slightly weak release but that’s alright since I didn’t think “Ghost Enemy” was all that great either.  Also, it is her first physical single so it kind of surprises me a little bit that only F.B left an impression.  OKay sounds way like an immi-kind of song while the remix for Tomorrow @ Your Kingdom just sucked…hope she can slide back on her next single.

 

MAA – Monkey Kingdom December 2, 2010

Filed under: MAA — solarblade @ 7:49 am

Track Listing

  1. Ballerina Brain System
  2. Ghost Enemy
  3. Tomorrow @ Your Kingdom
  4. Monkeybone City
  5. Hangover Payback
  6. Beautiful Mistakes
  7. Virgin Killer Santa
  8. Demon’s Phone Call

1. Ballerina Brain System

I loved that MAA started her mini-album with her 2nd A-side Ballerina Brain System and I still think it’s that catchy of a song for some reason even though MAA’s vocals sound totally different than in “Ghost Enemy”.  Like I said in the single review a few days back, it’s different and the slow speed actually works in a good way.  Though I wouldn’t mind a faster version either.  Overall, such a kickass song!

2. Ghost Enemy

I know I’ve said this so many times already, but damn this is such an ICONIQ rip-off that it’s just not funny.  I mean you could play both songs and you’ll tell the similarities quite quickly.  That being said, I’ve slowly started to dislike it since the release.  Why it had to be MAA’s debut, who knows, but I’m just not feeling this tune anymore.

4. Tomorrow @ Your Kingdom

They can put “Ghost Enemy’s” B-side on here but not “Ballerina Brain System’s”?  Either way, Tomorrow @ Your Kingdom isn’t so much of a bad song and compared to the other songs off the mini-album, this is more natural, but at the same tempo as “BBS”.  Maybe MAA on auto-tune in the song was a poor choice on her arranger’s part, but the song still sounds refreshing and the English so far on this mini-album sounds good.

4. Monkeybone City

As the rest of the mini-album is new tracks, I was curious what she gave us.  As the pseudo title track, Monkeybone City sounds quirky for me, but I think it’s the more guitar-laced arrangement and I actually like the mood of the song.  The whole ~make me believe~ hook was really what caught my attention.  Jeeze, what a mischievous little tune we have.  Ok, I actually like this song alot now 😄

5. Hangover Payback

Ok, the opening synths for Hangover Payback sounds so good to my ears for some reason and I love that it grows into this electropop song that actually sounds great for MAA.  It reminds me of Kylie Minogue’s music, but this has a stronger arrangement.  I’d say it’s ethereal, but enough that the beat doesn’t make it sound slow.  It’s another homerun I guess! 

6. Beautiful Mistakes

I guess MAA decided to turn badass for our next song and I like the attitude she presents us in this song.  It gives her rather limited vocal range emotion and it’s much needed for sure.  The chorus does open up the feel of the song into something much lighter and it just stands out.  I think the chorus just really gives it life and is a great opposite to the darker tinged verses.  I think it’s just catchy as all hell.

7. Virgin Killer Santa

I really don’t know how to react with a title such as Virgin Killer Santa, but it seems it’s MAA’s contribution to Christmas.  I will say if there’s a song that showcases MAA’s vocals it has to be this song since she basically shouts the chorus, but actually stays in tune while saying the title.  It’s just one of those powerful and dramatic songs that really captures your attention.  My jaw dropped a bit after this song, Definitely impressed with this one!

8. Demon’s Phone Call

Ending the mini, Demon’s Phone Call from the start kind of reminded me of something psychedelic for some reason, but it was with the opening melody.  I will say that it’s a dark rock song that might a slight not to MarBell, but taken much lighter.  Iono, it’s not as bad as “Ghost Enemy”, but I don’t see myself listening to this one much.

Wow, for an artist that debuted in September, I didn’t think in December she’d have one of the best mini-albums I’ve heard this year.  I was wondering what her sound would actually be since the A-sides released were different styles of electro.  It seem it continues to be tossing around in the electronica style and I was overall pleased with it.  I can’t wait for her next release!

 

MAA – Ballerina Brain System December 1, 2010

Filed under: MAA — solarblade @ 12:30 am

Track Listing

  1. Ballerina Brain System
  2. Nightmare

1. Ballerina Brain System

I actually am surprised that for MAA’s 2nd A-side, Ballerina Brain System (fun title aside) is actually quite an interesting electropop tune and it’s definitely a step-up after the Crystal Girl knock-off “Ghost Enemy”.  I don’t even mind that the song is actually a bit slower than I originally though, but with MAA’s overly synthy vocals, it kind of works in this case.  Let’s just say, I was definitely impressed

2. Nightmare

Unlike the smooth and groovy A-side, Nightmare does speed things up and it’s just as catchy as “Ballerina Brain System” if not more because of the speed boost.  Then again the English in this song also is easy to understand with the mixture of her Japanese.  The thing that threw me off was the interlude of the song where this swervy synth takes off and makes it strange, but the song is REALLY nice.

MAA’s second single right now trumps her debut by a good long shot since it’s more catchy and the lighter electro sound when compared to “Ghost Enemy” is more refreshing to listen to.  Now I do wonder why MAA left off Nightmare since it was just as catchy and fun to listen to like Ballerina Brain System.  Then again…this is a rental single soooooo….

 

MAA – Ghost Enemy October 14, 2010

Filed under: MAA — solarblade @ 4:33 am

Track Listing

  1. Ghost Enemy
  2. Tomorrow @ Your Kingdom

1. Ghost Enemy

I really don’t know why but MAA debut A-side definitely kind of interest me.  For one thing her voice is pretty deep than some other J-pop artists out there and I like the dark flow of the music.  Unfortunately, that dark flow is way too much like ICONIQ’s “Crystal Girl” and it’s hard not to make that comparison since they’re just too close.  However, besides the fact that the songs are similar I really like both.  MAA’s gets better towards the end since it somewhat moves in a different direction.  I’d say it’s a pretty good first song, even though it took pages out of well a certain ICONIQ book.

2. Tomorrow @ Your Kingdom

As the B-side of the single, Tomorrow @ Your Kingdom is surprisingly the opposite of “Ghost Enemy”.  Comparing, the song has piano and synths of course but the mood is way lighter and seems like a mid-tempo synthpop song.  I don’t know where I stand with the song because it doesn’t really have much to remember it by, but I guess it’s OK as a B-side.

While she isn’t a new artist persay (most will recognize her from her MarBell stuff).  I took a listen and MAA I guess went for a more synth based career starting with Ghost Enemy.  I really enjoyed the A-side despite what’s already been said and Tomorrow @ Your Kingdom is purely B-side material.  I’m happy she announced another single and a mini-album coming up ^_^