Kurayami Monogatari

Would love a comment every so often <<

Mami Kawada – Contrail ~Kiseki~ January 28, 2016

Filed under: Mami Kawada — solarblade @ 3:35 am

contrail

Track Listing

  1. Contrail ~Kiseki~
  2. Halfway
  3. Contrail ~Kiseki~ (Instrumental)
  4. Halfway (Instrumental)

1. Contrail ~Kiseki~

I have to say I’m surprised with Mami’s recent switch of styles and I’m not sure if I quite like it a whole ton.  Unlike the past where she’d put out something electronic or something rockin’ and dark, Contrail seems to follow the path that her last A-side, “Gardens” by having a more standard anison which bores me quite a lot in these days.  I do like that it has more synths and beats over said song, but I still don’t feel like it really stands out amongst her past endeavors.

2. Halfway

I was a little more curious to see what would come out of Halfway, but it’s really more of the same if not a little slower than the leading track.  I’m not sure what was going on with this song, but I feel like it was just a clone and there’s nothing much to really catch on with it.

 

 

I wonder what’s going on with Mami and her recent slump in A-sides because this is the single A-side that I didn’t care for at all (yet, her album between these two singles was her best so far???).  Yeah, while “Gardens” survived through its B-side, neither tracks from Contrail did much of anything for me.  How unfortunate!  Though, one of my readers mentioned that she’s retiring in with a last performance in May, if this is her final single, then this was a pretty mediocre way to say goodbye IMO.

 

 

Mami Kawada – PARABLEPSIA September 23, 2015

Filed under: Mami Kawada — solarblade @ 5:03 am

parablepsia

Track Listing

  1. parablepsia
  2. Borderland
  3. I…civilization
  4. Enchantress
  5. Eager Eyes
  6. PIST
  7. fly blind
  8. here.
  9. HOWL
  10. It’s no big deal
  11. Replica_nt
  12. Break a spell
  13. Dendritic Quartz

1. parablepsia

Interesting that Mami opens up the album with the title track.  What a title though haha!  I was confused in which direction the song was heading because it was going towards electro and rock, but it kind of fuses together in a cool way (well, she’s been at this kind of style so it’s definitely right at home.  I’m loving Mami’s vocals here and she gives a stellar performance with a song that sounds like a continuation of songs from “SQUARE THE CIRCLE”.

2. Borderland

Talking about her last album we get Borderland which was a single released before that album was released.  I was sad it didn’t make the cut but here it is on this one (yet “FIXED STAR” and “Gardens” are inexplicably missing from this album).  Borderland though works on this one with it’s static-y electrorock sound.  Instead, Mami’s vocals are much lighter and under some filters and the energy is a little more quick-paced too.  I’m still a pretty big fan of this one and was very happy to see it here!

3. I…civilization

Since most of the album from here on is brand new songs, I was curious to see what Mami and her producers came up with.  Starting with I…civilization is pretty cool and dark (almost to the same heavy arrangements from MELL and KOTOKO).  This one took more to the synth-side of things and Mami’s lines sometimes sound a lot more MELL-like than it should, but I love it!  It’s a cool song and all, but I think the previous tracks stuck out much better!

4. Enchantress

Somehow I thought the feeling of “I…civilization” would’ve been through this song, but Enchantress takes up a more electro side by lacking the guitars and giving us this weird dance track, but it sounds so cool and yet mysterious especially with some of Mami’s lines in this one.  It’s definitely a cool song for the album and an early favorite!

5. Eager Eyes

Seems like the album is just digging deeper into electro I’ve and I’m loving this trek down that lane.  Eager Eyes is dirty and aggressive and Mami’s filtered vocals add this really cool effect that reminds me of stuff from MELL like “Red fraction” and “no vain” but it’s still pretty has its own identity that just sticks on me and love more and more!

6. PIST

For a song title as such, it’s not a shocker that it’s another aggressive track on the album.  Though unlike the cool trance vibes of the previous track, PIST is a little more heavy on the guitarwork here, but it still has some electro in it giving it this factory-kind of sound which is basically the best I can compare to.  There’s even parts where the arrangement lightens up and Mami’s filtered vocals sound a lot more soothing and cool.

7. fly blind

Next up, is fly blind and it’s strictly on the rockin’ side of Mami’s arrangements (almost on the level of some stuff from “SEED” and “SAVIA”.  It’s a pretty in your face kind of song and really comes punching in and out and I’m loving some of it.  The chorus includes some synths and piano which does throw some of the edginess out the window, but I think there’s something about the verses that really gelled together.

8. here.

Though the beginning of here. closes the door and we’re back to stuff that sort of sounds like “Borderland”.  here. has a cool intro with gritty guitars and synths.  I think this track does well with Mami’s take on MELL’s voice and it sounds really devilish, but then the chorus opens to a much lighter feel which like “fly blind” throws me off, but the chorus is decent too…it’s just that it sounds a bit like “Red fraction”…

9. HOWL

Man this album has just been so very aggressive so far and it’s a surprise to me especially since I’ve listened to all her albums.  I’m a little weirded out with the long introduction and the weird vocals choices Mami makes during the song.  I wouldn’t say this is a favorite of mine due to the changes this song goes through, but the effort is through the roof.

10. It’s no big deal

Of an album that has been mostly dark and aggressive and just angsty, It’s no big deal is the odd ball on this album having a more poppy vibe and the amount of noticeable Engrish is cool too.  Though I think by itself, the song is great and shows off a nicer side to Mami, this song probably should’ve been on “SQUARE THE CIRCLE” LOL.

11. Replica_nt

Oh hey a trance song comes next!  The beat is definitely the heaviest on the album here and I love those kind of tracks!  It even keeps at it through the entire track alongside a lower toned Mami which is always nice to hear too!  I love the thick amount of synths bouncing along the deep bass synth giving a really full sounding track.  Definitely a cool song overall!

12. Break a spell

I was shocked that Break a spell was the literal only A-side to make the cut (“Borderland” being released in the last album’s era and the lack of the other 2 A-sides released prior to this album.  Break a spell does take a bit from “Borderland” with the airy vocals, but getting strong for the chorus.  Though coming back to this, the song isn’t as strong as I remembered last year.  The slower tempo (in comparison to many of the songs on this album) is strange, though the intro is still the coolest thing in the track.

13. Dendritic Quartz

Closing the album out is Dendritic Quartz and by title alone, I was looking forward to listening to this one.  Though I was surprised that like “It’s no big deal”, it’s a happier song from Mami though its placement is nice since it doesn’t totally break the album.  I mean it does keep the dance beats and strong vocals, but it kind of zones me out after a while.

Tracks Recommended

  • Replica_nt
  • Enchantress
  • Borderland
  • parablepsia
  • PIST

Song of Avoidance

  • Dendritic Quartz

As I finish Mami’s 5th album all I can say is, wow this was one consistent album going between the things she’s known for and not taking strange risks.  A lot of these songs are quite decent (and even Dendritic Quartz has good things going on too!).  While I was worried with the time she took for this album (and “Gardens” being such a generic mess), I was worried PARABLEPSIA was going to be a misstep, but honestly, it’s probably her best album yet! *RECOMMENDED*

 

Mami Kawada – Gardens August 18, 2015

Filed under: Mami Kawada — solarblade @ 3:15 am

gardens

Track Listing

  1. Gardens
  2. ∃UTOPIA?
  3. Gardens (instrumental)
  4. ∃UTOPIA? (instrumental)

1. Gardens

For a title as such, Gardens is a lighter song for Mami which we haven’t heard in quite a while actually maybe a bit too long (Not sure when the last upbeat bright song she released was hahaha).  Add the bright and breezy anison synths flourishing through the song and you have this safe, but pleasant A-side!

2. ∃UTOPIA?

Which is the opposite of what we got with the B-side which Mami fans would connect with a little more easier because it sounds like a “SEED” and “SAVIA” trac with the dark electrorock arrangement.  I love the grittier sound and for some reason, Mami’s vocals sound more clear-cut and badass when the filtering is added on too!  It’s a pretty edgy song though and I enjoyed it!

With an album on the horizon, “PARABLEPSIA”, I was expecting to see this be the focus single for the album, but it turns out Gardens will not be on it and yet “Borderland” will is pretty strange (also “FIXED STAR” isn’t on the album too.  The single itself isn’t bad persay, but I think it ∃UTOPIA? had been the A-side, things would’ve been much better because Gardens is an odd song choice for an A-side for her.  Not bad, but a lil meh considering she’s been quiet for over a year.

 

Mami Kawada – Break a spell February 24, 2014

Filed under: Mami Kawada — solarblade @ 3:18 am

breakaspell

Track Listing

  1. Break a spell
  2. remaining snow
  3. Break a spell <instrumental>
  4. remaining snow <instrumental>

1. Break a spell

It’s definitely something for Mami to begin a song that way.  It sounds totally unique and different for how to come in with Break a spell.  It does kind of harken back to more of her “SAVIA” days by having a more grittier sound but also kind of having the synth beats like she has become from her last album.  Though the chorus is oddly more brighter and anison in style, but the verses are in my opinion the better part of the song.  It’s alright I suppose lol.

2. remaining snow

For the B-side, I was kind of suprised the song sounded so 90’s lol.  remaining snow for me sounds uncharacteristic for me and almost idol-like strangely enough.  I don’t know, but this song is something, but I can’t seem to get behind it because it just does sound odd coming from Mami and C.G., you would think we would’ve gotten a mysteriously dark song for a B-side…but I suppose not.

 

 

Mami begins a new era (yes, because “FIXED STAR” was promoting the best album she had AND that was on there too) with Break a spell.  The single wasn’t all that great.  The main track started out good, but that chorus was kind of bland and didn’t sit well for me while remaining snow is just odd and not like Mami at all lol.  Hopefully there’ll be better ones soon!

 

Mami Kawada – FIXED STAR February 24, 2013

Filed under: Mami Kawada — solarblade @ 6:34 pm

fixedstar

Track Listing

  1. FIXED STAR
  2. intersection
  3. FIXED STAR (Instrumental)
  4. intersection (Instrumental)

1. FIXED STAR

Well it’s no surprise that Mami releases a kind of animu-rock song with FIXED STAR, but it’s such a cool track to listen and I just love her voice in the song.  It does remind me of her last single “Borderland” because it has a lot of arrangement similarities.  I think it’s a pretty solid track, but the fact that this is a recut song from her best album last week makes this just a little strange of a song to me…still not bad!

2. intersection

At least the B-side is all new.  I don’t know why, but I love the intro for this song…it was progressive rock and the song gets heavy and kind of reminds me of stuff from “SAVIA”.  There’s just some good guitar riifs, I know it reminds of one oh her older songs, but not sure which one at the moment.  Very fitting B-side.

So this single was released as a recut single (only a week after her best) and this seems to be alright, but nothing that overly excites me.  FIXED STAR is a good track for Mami don’t get me wrong, but I think intersection did a lot better overall.  Overall, it’s one of her better singles, but strangely released lol.

 

Mami Kawada – SQUARE THE CIRCLE August 24, 2012

Filed under: Mami Kawada — solarblade @ 5:53 am

Track Listing

  1. SQUARE THE CIRCLE
  2. No buts!
  3. my buddy
  4. Don’t stop me now!
  5. Clap!Clap!Clap!
  6. Usual…
  7. See visionS
  8. live a lie
  9. Midnight trip // memories of childhood
  10. Rasen Kaidan
  11. F
  12. Going back to square one
  13. Serment

1. SQUARE THE CIRCLE

Ahhh starting the album off with the title track huh?  I really found myself interested because we’re back to the I’ve synth style that I’ve become fond of from the company.  After the lengthy intro, Mami comes in with this mysterious tone and she fits the style SO GOOD.  The chorus is also nice and Mami rises above the music and stands out moreso.  It’s a great way to begin the album, but I liked “linkage” more because that song was more dramatic IMO.

2. No buts!

Adding punch to move the album forward, we get No buts! which started out the era.  I remenber the screeching that the tune’s arrangement had which was the prominent thing about the song.  Add in the anime-esque feel of the song and it stands out from the album since it’s gritty and aggressive.

3. my buddy

Continuing on, a nice amount of new tracks come up starting with my buddy.  It sounds like “No buts!” but without the grittyness and screeches going on.  What’s left is this punchy synth track that sounds surprisingly good!  I found myself enjoying the tune altogether and Mami sounds just right.

4. Don’t stop me now!

Focusing more on the beat, Don’t stop me now! comes next and there’s a guitar riff added in.  It’s different from what I heard from Mami and I’m just kind of liking this electro song.  It’s kind of poppy when compared to the other tracks on the album but that’s cool because it gives a new side to Mami.  I ended up loving this song for some reason more than the previous track 0.o

5. Clap!Clap!Clap!

As I read other reviews, C!C!C! is actually the summer song on the album and I can totally see that here.  It’s a fun song to listen to which I can admid to and there sounds like there’s some kind of underlying sadness about the song for some reason…then Mami just makes me laugh saying ~Crap, Crap, Crap~ (as in bad Engrishness).  It’s all right, but the song is a bit weird for me.

6. Usual…

So the album has an interlude and Mami composed it as well!  For being about the length of a vocal song, Usual… is a bit forgetful since it’s kind of the same things throughout the whole track.  It’s still a bit of electro but it’s kind of like “SQUARE THE CIRCLE”…subdued perhaps is the best way to describe it.  Still, it’s forgetful since there’s no lyrics to be had here.

7. See visionS

After the interlude, we get into the second A-side released and See visionS is still probably one of my favorite songs from Mami.  I love the anime feel out of this song a lot more than “No buts!” but she gives an pretty powerful performance here.  She does strain her vocals a bit in the song, but I oddly enough didn’t mind this.  It’s a really strong song and I’m happy this made the album.

8. live a lie

Haunting synths and chanting opens up live a lie which is a bit similar in style to “SQUARE THE CIRCLE” but this song has more of a progressive feel so it’s like it lies between that and “my buddy”.  It’s a darker song from the album, but I feel like it should’ve had a bit more punch to it.  I like it but it needed more oomph IMO and it’s a bit too long (as the only song passing six minutes on the album).

9. Midnight trip // memories of childhood

At first, I wonder if Midnight trip was related to “Angel” because both had similar titles.  Midnight trip is probably the weirdest song of the album because the arrangement is about as weird and strange to listen to.  Mami is also doing some weird vocals hops which is quite meh.  The transitioning is a bit sketchy too.  Yeah, I’m not a fan of this one to be honest.

10. Rasen Kaidan

At least our next track is better!  I think this is this first time I’ve heard Mami’s vocals being a little more synthed up but the song is pretty cool.  I love the breezy atmosphere it gives off and just flows so damn smoothly.  It stands as the poppiest song on the album but this turned out a lot better than I expected.

11. F

As the new track that’s a ballad, F is an interesting song to deal with.  My main thought was that it has the flowing synth style once again which feels good with the album, but I felt like this could’ve been handled without so much of the electronic influences.  Maybe a little bit would’ve worked but not all this.  Beyond that, it was a solid ballad and Mami sounds great in the song.

12. Going back to square one

I guess we go back full circle because I feel like that’s a tongue-in-cheek title back to the beginning.  Compared to the other songs on the album this has the strongest rock influence and I was definitely enjoying the power from Mami’s vocals alongside the brazen guitars and drums.  A pretty powerful song and I’m enjoying every second of it.

13. Serment

Finally, closing out the album is the 3rd and final A-side representing the album (wait…where’s “Borderland”?).  I still do feel like Serment is the weakest of the four A-sides, but it felt right as the album’s final track to be honest.  It gave closure to the album and was a nice slow down from “Gonig back to square one” by giving us back the electroness.  I feel like the song reminds me of “PSI-missing” but with guitars alongside too for some strange reason…good ending.

Tracks Recommended

  • Don’t stop me now!
  • See visionS
  • my buddy
  • Going back to square one
  • Rasen Kaidan

Song of Avoidance

  • Midnight trip // memories of childhood

Yay, Mami’s 4th album!  I have to say as an overall package, STC is a more consistent than any of her previous albums have been and that’s good and to me, it’s better than her last album, “LINKAGE” but I felt that this album played it safe.  Most of the songs were in electro form and it did surprise me it lacked the variety, her last three has had…though what can I say she didn’t do half bad here. 

 

Mami Kawada – Borderland May 31, 2012

Filed under: Mami Kawada — solarblade @ 3:41 am

Track Listing

  1. Borderland
  2. Angel // resident of the nightmare
  3. Borderland (instrumental)
  4. Angel // resident of the nightmare (instrumental)

1. Borderland

I kind of liked that she went back to synths for Borderland but added a nice layer of dark grittyneess (like “No buts!”).  It’s great to hear the song with a little more energy in it and Mami’s vocals being lighter yet cool.  I will say that her voice under filters is interesting but I like something a little different.  It’s good otherwise and ranks well with it’s fellow A-sides.

2. Angel // resident of the nightmare

Angel on the other hand kind of interested me (seems like her B-sides do that quite often, just by title).  I’m surprised because it sounds like MELL would be singing a song with the arrangement it has.  It has that signature I’ve Sound feel that I always seem to enjoy and relax too.  Mami’s vocals sound smooth and soothing as well giving this numb but good feel throughout.  Great B-side!

 

 

As it’s Mami’s 4th single before “SQUARE THE CIRCLE” finally comes out, Borderland is a good single to have before the album’s release!  Borderland might not be original in arrangement style and feel but I liked it despite that.  Angel though gives hope that I’ve hasn’t totally ditched their cool and soothing trance style and it turned out really well (even if the song sounds more fitting for MELL).  Good single overall!

 

Mami Kawada – Serment February 1, 2012

Filed under: Mami Kawada — solarblade @ 7:12 pm

Track Listing

  1. Serment
  2. u/n
  3. Serment -instrumental-
  4. u/n -instrumental-

1. Serment

As this is Mami’s 3rd A-side it’s actually the most rockin’ between the three but then again also has a lot of synths as well.  It’s pretty interesting to hear Mami under suto-tune for some parts of the song but it’s not too obnoxious.  To be honest, the song is quite good but it definitely screams anime theme (which it is).  Sadly I think I like the other two A-sides more.

2. u/n

The B-side though is a bit more focused on the guitars and there’s little synth to be found.  It kind of streams as a B-side but there’s something about it that I just kind of bore myself with.  It doesn’t seem like it pulls the listener in very well (cept that rather cool muffled part before the second chorus).  Pretty straightforward rock track from her.

 

 

As Mami’s 3rd single, I wasn’t all that impressed with Serment.  At least as a package it’s better than “No buts!” but I feel that “See visionS” still leads IMO.  The A-side is cool and rockin and has the right stuff going for it but it just didn’t capture my interest as much as I thought it would.  u/n was just B-side property…didn’t leave much of a mark as well.  Album soon?

 

Mami Kawada – See visionS February 18, 2011

Filed under: Mami Kawada — solarblade @ 6:03 am

Track Listing

  1. See visionS
  2. Don’t interrupt me
  3. See visionS -Instrumental-
  4. Don’t interrupt me -Instrumental-
  5. PSI-missing -2011 Remix-

1. See visionS

Hey, if the era is filled with electro music from Mami, then I will approve of the album whole-heartedly.  While it’s not as strong and kickass as “No buts!” was, but the song is very much lighter and just as upbeat.  I love the how the verses and chorus sounds like two seperate songs, but sound great in their own way.  I find it so unlike the art cover, but it still is a very enjoyable track from Mami.

2. Don’t interrupt me

Thank god the B-side of the single is kind of like “See visionS” in the way it’s not a ballad or something soft than let’s say…”SATANIC”…Anyway, the song might be slightly slower than the A-side, but it’s still very danceable and Mami’s vocals sound a lot more smoother as well giving the mood of the song a bit more of a mysterious glow.  However, the likeliness of the two tracks is rather surprising.  Still good song!

3. PSI-missing -2011 remix-

So as a surprise on a single, we get an updated mix of PSI-missing which was Mami’s first single for the “LINKAGE” era.  I remember getting so tired of the original after how long it’s been out, but the updated remix sounds so different that it feels like a totally different song.  It feels so damn catchy and much stronger than the original IMHO.

Wow, a pretty strong single from Mami for sure, who knew she was going to release this with so much praise from me.  While I think Don’t interrupt me is the weakest song of the three, the other two sounded great and full of power even more so the PSI-missing remix!  Wow two great A-sides so far, what’s next eh?

 

Mami Kawada – No buts! November 2, 2010

Filed under: Mami Kawada — solarblade @ 6:47 am

Track Listing

  1. No buts!
  2. SATANIC
  3. No buts! (instrumental)
  4. SATANIC (instrumental)

1. No buts!

It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from Mami, but I think she brought back something pretty powerful with No buts!.  Besides the usual I’ve sound that I’ve grown to love and enjoy, this is one of her more energetic songs she’s had and Mami’s vocals of course are in the veins of KOTOKO which is something I didn’t expect, but with the arrangement being so hard and loud, it fits somewhat.  It’s a good song, but I still much prefer fripSide’s “only my railgun” to this (they’re both tied as openings to the same series).

2. SATANIC

With a title like SATANIC, I wasn’t sure what to expect if it was going to be super fast and hard like “No buts!” or something else.  What we got was something else because it’s pretty much slower than the A-side and not as dark as I was expecting it to be.  For me, it’s a bit of a disappointment in that case, but without the kind of misleading title, SATANIC is alright, but kind of is like some of her previous B-sides.

After taking a short break after the release of her album, “LINKAGE”, Mami returns with something I was hoping she would sing and that’s something with a bit of punch and No buts! filled that up nicely and I liked in the end.  SATANIC is well, just another Mami B-side.  I hope she could get maybe a pure ballad or a freakishly cool song, but we’ll see how this era plays out.