Kurayami Monogatari

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Mano Erina – NEXT MY SELF December 14, 2012

Filed under: Mano Erina — solarblade @ 4:16 am

nextmyself

Track Listing

  1. NEXT MY SELF
  2. Seishun Rainbow
  3. NEXT MY SELF (Instrumental)

1. NEXT MY SELF

I was kind of expecting Erina to at least have made her final A-side to be kind of badass like her previous tracks, but it’s really more of like what she started out.  A lot of piano in the track, but carries that lighthearted atmosphere Erina has known to have since she debuted.  The song is quite harmless though and she sounds good in the song.  For a final H!P track though, it’s a bit ehhh…but fitting to the occasion.

2. Seishun Rainbow

The B-side of the single is a lot like the stuff from her last released album, “More Friends Over” because it’s upbeat and has that kind of catchy riff about it that would do well in live performances.  Actually it kind of reminds me a lot of “21 Seikiteki Ren’ai Jijou” because of the way it was handled.  That being said, it’s not bad, but not really original I suppose.

 

 

As this is Erina’s final single under H!P before her graduation, I wasn’t surprised that I was a little underwhelmed by her final single.  “Song for the DATE” sounded amazing and I thought she was going to keep at that (that was before she announced her graduation).  NEXT MY SELF isn’t totally bad but it’s kind of like her singles in the last couple of eras…good…but ultimately forgetful.  Same for Seishun Rainbow, it’s kind of familiar to the point where it’s just too similar to past songs.  Since she did announce an album (whether or not remains if its her final studio album or a simple best album) it makes me a lil sad she’s leaving since she was the only soloist.

 

Mano Erina – Song for the DATE June 27, 2012

Filed under: Mano Erina — solarblade @ 8:33 am

Track Listing

  1. Song for the DATE
  2. Aozora ga Waratteru
  3. Song for the DATE (Instrumental)

1. Song for the DATE

I wouldn’t have foretold that Manoeri’s next single would have so many synths in it.  However, after how much praise “Glory days” had gotten this was only logical.  It kind of feels nostalgic but at the same time cool and darker than your normal H!P song.  I just like the fact there’s something more going on here than the usual fare from Erina.  It’s been a long time since I loved a song from her (“Lucky Aura” basically).

2. Aozora ga Waratteru

Since there were no previews of this track before the single’s release, Aozora ga Waratteru was something I was curious to hear.  Sadly, it follows in the vein of rock based tracks which kind of disappoints me since it’s a bit like Momusu’s “Watashi ga Ite, Kimi ga Iru” but less guitar licks.  It’s alright but quit forgetful for me.

 

 

I’m happy that Erina has gotten a little more attention than she did in 2011.  Song for the DATE is quite possibly her most intriguing A-side since “Otome no Inori” (her major label debut).  It’s aggressive and has a great melody to it.  Aozora ga Waratteru is B-side fodder for her though and might just be forgotten…Good start to the 4th era!

 

Mano Erina – More Friends Over March 30, 2012

Filed under: Mano Erina — solarblade @ 9:11 pm

Track Listing

  1. Junjou Keisatsu K・I・S・S
  2. Glory days
  3. Seishun no Serenade
  4. ~”Shinkou wa Michiko” no Jikan ①~
  5. Eien ~Tasogare Kousaten time goes by~
  6. Nekketsu Sensei
  7. I have a dream
  8. ~”Shinkou wa Michiko” no Jikan ②~
  9. Banzai! ~Jinsei wa Meccha Wonderful!~
  10. Kaze no Bara ~Aruite Chizu wo Tsukutta Otoko no Uta~
  11. Anata ga Iru Kara
  12. ~”Shinkou wa Michiko” no Jikan ③~
  13. My Days for You
  14. Tenkiyohou no Atattara
  15. ~”Shinkou wa…~”

1. Junjou Keisatsu K・I・S・S

Opening the Erina’s 3rd album, Junjou Keisatsu K・I・S・S opens with police sirens and then Erina saying a line before the main song comes in.  I really like the nice guitar riff for the song for some reason but I’m still kind of on the fence with the gal’s voice since they aren’t as strong as some of the other H!P members out there.  It’s a good song but clearly there’s better songs from but not a bad start to the album ^_^

2. Glory days

One of the earlier songs that leaked way before even the album’s announcement, Glory days was one of the songs I was looking forward to hearing in better quality.  The reason why was because it’s heavily synthed and brought the good things about Erina’s sound all into this song.  It does come off a little GUNDAM-y in areas but I like that about it.  Yeah, I’m liking this a LOT more than the radio rip…sounds great!

3. Seishun no Serenade

The first A-side in the era finds its way to the album and it actually sounds good coming after “Glory days” because it still has its synth-based style which is pretty awesome to hear and was also the best of the A-sides.  Definitely a fun song in its own right and Erina’s ad-libbing is quite nice to hear as well.  Good track and that call and response interlude was cute as hell LOL.

4. ~”Shinkou wa Michiko” no Jikan ①~

So if you look at the tracklists, the Shinkou wo Micihiko tracks are actually merely interludes of the album.  It begins with this ascending marimba thing (like a notification basically) and then Erina begins to speaks…what it is I do not know unfortunately.  Then it ends with the notification line but descending…unusual…

5. Eien ~Tasogare Kousaten time goes by~

I was curious but happy to see that Tasogare Kousaten was put on the album over “Doki Doki Baby”.  I was curious because at first I couldn’t tell the difference between this new version and the single version BUT after replaying it, it was clear and I was surprised I didn’t notice this but Tasogare Kousaten kept its arrangement fully so musically it’s no different but now there’s brand new lyrics!  I mean the entire song is nothing but new stuff lyrically and that’s pretty cool.  I still like it nonetheless and makes a good addition to the album.

6. Nekketsu Sensei

When I heard the brass being used in the song, it reminded me of some Momosu songs though I’m not sure which one at the moment lol.  It does kind of has a similar atmosphere to “Junjou Keisatsu K・I・S・S”.  Though I had a little more fun listening to this and Erina’s vocals aren’t as shady either.  Not bad…

7. I have a dream

Interesting that we end up getting a doowop song from Erina next.  At first I thought it was kind of sweet and innocent however after a while it just becomes boring for me since it doesn’t really go anywhere and just stays on the same path for the entire way.  I will say that Erina’s vocals are nice though and she did a good job…but this song needs a little more for it than what we ended up here.

8. ~”Shinkou wa Michiko” no Jikan ②~

Oh boy…another Shinkou wa Michiko appears and it’s about a minute longer than the first one.  It also is just like the first one with the intro and outro plus the major part which is Erina speaking…though she’s a little weird here…making various noises LOL.  What….the….hell!  Is this her being random or something?

9. Banzai! ~Jinsei wa Meccha Wonderful!~

Well I didn’t think Erina would go into super genki cheese-fest with Banzai! which sounds more like a song best suited for S/mileage to be honest.  I just can’t get into this song for that reason because Erina’s vocals really don’t mesh well with the arrangement (plus the song is awkward sounding without it as well).  I just don’t like this song!

10. Kaze no Bara ~Aruite Chizu wo Tsukutta Otoko no Uta~

If there was a song to slightly take the place of the lack of “Doki Doki Baby” on the album, Kaze no Bara would take it quite easily.  It’s just as cute and S/mileage-like but I found it a much easier pill to swallow than “Banzai!” for some reason.  At least it’s catchy and ManoEri’s vocals seem to fit better as well.  Still not the best amongst em’ but it’s not bad.

11. Anata ga Iru Kara

The closest thing we get to a ballad on the album is in Anata ga Iru Kara (a title that’s currently being tossed around be different artists it seems).  I like that she began with piano and the moved it up with louder instrumentation (even though a lot of it seems to be synthetic sounds).  I felt a little awkward having the guitar being as prominent as it was here but this is a little more exciting than your typical H!P ballad.  This is interesting and different but needs to be cleaned up.

12. ~”Shinkou wa Michiko” no Jikan ③~

A couple seconds longer than the second one, this Shinkou wa Michiko isn’t much different but I laughed that the first word was ~sexy~…I’m now curious about what is going on here…and is there a second lady involved?  I like that they’re trying to be sexy but they can’t seem to get it right?  It’s not as WTF as the second but it’s good for a laugh I guess.

13. My Days for You

The second A-side released pops up next and it still doesn’t really register to me very well like the other A-sides have in some way.  It does have a certain “FRIENDS” kind of feel to it and I do like the chorus (even if I can’t seem to remember it after a while).  Yeah, I can’t remember the song unfortunately and stands as the worst of the A-sides.

14. Tenkiyohou no Atattara

The final vocal song on the album is one of two promotional songs that well…promoted the album (the other was “Glory days”).  This song brought the energy back up from “My Days for You” and it’s interesting hearing more of a pop/rock kind of song here.  I can’t deny that it’s bright and has that happy kind of feeling for it so in the end, I did find it more charming than most of the songs here.

15. ~”Shinkou wa…”~

Closing the album, we get an outro and finding out that it’s the fourth of these Shinkou wa Michiko but this time there’s no Michiko (I’m curious if that’s the other lady talking with Erina now…).  Oddly enough this outro is just merely 7 seconds long and doesn’t have the outro jingle.  Meh…

Tracks Recommended

  • Glory days
  • Seishun no Serenade
  • Tenkiyohou no Atattara
  • Eien ~Tasogare Kousaten time goes by~
  • Nekketsu Sensei

Song of Avoidance

  • Banzai! ~Jinsei wa Meccha Wonderful!~

To be honest, I’m not too happy with MFO actually.  I mean I’m happy there’s no “Datenshi Ellie”-like song on the album but the unneeded interludes kind of took that place.  Add in that most of the songs are kind of meh (cept the 5 I chose as the best).  I don’t know, I starting to think she would be better in a group setting rather than doing solo work to be honest because her voice just doesn’t have the quality that previous H!P soloists have had.  It’s just kind of weak at this point. 

 

Mano Erina – Doki Doki Baby/Tasogare Kousaten February 23, 2012

Filed under: Mano Erina — solarblade @ 8:11 pm

Track Listing

  1. Doki Doki Baby
  2. Tasogare Kousaten
  3. Doki Doki Baby (Instrumental)
  4. Tasogare Kousaten (Instrumental)

1. Doki Doki Baby

I didn’t expect ManoEri to actually start the single off with an actual upbeat song like this.  It’s probably her fastest song in the current era and has the most spice as well.  I will say that I’m surprised at how much drums are involved in this and how cute this is for Erina.  It sounds alright but the music doesn’t really change up anywhere so it remains at the same pace for nearly the entire song.  Also, Erina’s vocals have sort of gotten better but they are still kind of weak at the same time.  I guess it has the ability to catch on but it’s a slow burner for me.

2. Tasogare Kousaten

After “My Days for You”, I was thinking that it’d be nice to hear Erina’s piano music again and while this isn’t it since there’s more guitars it’s close and I kind of like this track since it’s relaxing and I like her performance a whole lot more than in “Doki Doki Baby”.  Though, it kind of reminds me of her earlier days and some of her B-sides as well.  Fitting A-side!

 

 

Damn!  It’s been quite a while since we’ve seen Erina release a single and as the third and final single for the “More Friends Over” era, Doki Doki Baby/Tasogare Kousaten is alright but nothing to write home about.  Doki Doki Baby is cute and sugary but I don’t think her vocals kept up with the nature of the song and kind of fell flat for me.  Tasogare Kousaten however was a lot better and she does mid-tempos just fine…I wonder what her third album will be like now…

 

Hello! Project Mobekimasu – Busu ni Naranai Tetsugaku November 19, 2011

Filed under: Berryz Koubou,C-ute,Mano Erina,Morning Musume,S/mileage — solarblade @ 10:46 am

Track Listing

  1. Busu ni Naranai Tetsugaku
  2. Moshimo… (Regular & Limited A only)
  3. Kacchoii Uta (Hello! Project featuring Morning Musume) (Limited B only)
  4. Kacchoii Uta (Hello! Project featuring Berryz Koubou) (Limited C only)
  5. Kacchoii Uta (Hello! Project featuring °C-ute) (Limited D only)
  6. Kacchoii Uta (Hello! Project featuring Mano Erina) (Limited E only)
  7. Kacchoii Uta (Hello! Project featuring S/mileage (Limited F only)
  8. Busu ni Naranai Tetsugaku (Instrumental)

1. Busu ni Naranai Tetsugaku

It’s been a while since we’ve had a last get together with the acts of Hello! Project, of course the last was Bekimasu’s “Makeru na Wasshoi!” but officially was H.P. All Stars’ “ALL FOR ONE AND ONE FOR ALL”.  Of course times have changed since then and the member count is half of what it used to be.  Busu ni Naranai Tetsugaku is their way of saying here’s what we have and of course this song is coming off major losses of Ai Takahashi, Saki Ogawa and to a minor degree Fuyuka Kosuga.  First, I wanna talk about the line distribution.  It’s been said many time through other blogs but I agree that it’s a little unfair since it’s really the main stars so Reina, Riho, and Risa from Momosu, Airi and Maimi from °C-ute, Risako and Miyabi from Berryz Koubou, and Yuuka from S/mileage all get important lines while everyone else just does the chorus (seriously ManoEri got shafted?!?).  The song itself is actually kind of awesome since it’s got a snappy kind of attitude for it and a little bit of English which is good too.  Oddly enough, people have compared the song to Berryz’ “Aa, Yo ga Akeru” and I can see that…but this has a little more brass? in it.  Still, I was kind of hoping for something a bit more out there to show off all the members since minus Berryz, °C-ute, Risa, Sayumi, and Reina were involved with the last “GET EVERYONE TOGETHER shpeal” which would’ve left us with Aika, 9th Gen, 10th Gen (though they didn’t participate in the studio/PV…they’ve done performances on TV promoting it), ManoEri, and S/mileage (plus the new official members, which they were sub-members when the PV was released).  Good song but doesn’t have the longevity that “ALL FOR ONE & ONE FOR ALL” did.

2. Moshimo…

The B-side that is found on two versions of the release actually only have five members participating and it’s one member of each of the five acts involved.  Means Fukuchan, Momoko, Dawa, Nakky, and ManoEri were the chosen ones for this one.  All of us should know that Momoko, Dawa, and Nakky are known for their high squeaky vocals while ManoEri has a little deeper tone but still cute in a way.  I can’t see why Fukuchan got chosen because she doesn’t seem to have a cute voice like them.  My worries happened since it is quite cute of a song…like a S/mileage album song.  I’m kind of meh towards the song since it isn’t my kind of thing but I will say that Fukuchan and ManoEri were the best between the five of them (then again I’m used to the other three as it is…)

3. Kacchoii Uta (Hello! Project featuring Morning Musume)

On the remaining editions of the single (B-F) there’s another B-side but this one is different since each edition corresponds to one of the groups + soloist that’s in H!P.  The first one is from Momosu and since it’s the first time hearing Kacchoii Uta this will be where I review the song’s arrangement.  Unlike “Moshimo…’s” cuteness galore, Kacchoii Uta has a rockin’ arrangement and it has pretty awesome energy.  I loved that Risa and Riho kick things off!  Actually, every member has lines which is surprising but AWESOME nonetheless, even they have Sayu under auto-tune which isn’t present in any other version of the song.  Weird though is that I get “My Way ~Joshikou Hanamichi~” vibes from this song!

4. Kacchoii Uta (Hello! Project featuring Berryz Koubou)

Well, now I can be certain that the song’s arrangement has not changed at all which is good and bad but at least we get different vocals!  I will say that Miyabi and Momoko taking first solos with everyone following is quite awesome.  I will say that the deeper vocals from Berryz’ sans Momoko is a nice change and they sound quite strong overall.  I think out of the five, this is vocally the strongest with Momosu close behind.

5. Kacchoii Uta (Hello! Project featuring °C-ute)

Despite being the group with the least amount of members, °C-ute’s version is quite straightforward and would fit in their discography quite nicely.  Airi and Chisato take the first solo lines and it just goes from there.  Equality was shown throughout and I liked this from them but Momosu’s and Berryz’ were a smidge better.

6. Kacchoii Uta (Hello! Project featuring Mano Erina)

Unlike the four other versions of the song, this one is slightly different since ManoEri is the only soloist in H!P so her song would be awkward for her as she really is the only one singing here (but she does have backup support but it’s unknown who that is…).  Her version is clearly the weakest of the five but it’s no surprise because the song is meant for groups.  I wouldn’t have minded if she had joined in with °C-ute since they had the least amount of members.  Oh well!

7. Kacchoii Uta (Hello! Project featuring S/mileage)

S/mileage’s closes the single out since they were the last group brought together.  Now saying that °C-ute’s version had the least amount of members is true, but S/mileages really only had Yuuka, Kanon and Dawa for the most part and that is a little sad, but the other four members at the song’s creation were still sub-members.  That being said, the cute vocals work but only to a degree and I like the groups more. 

 

 

While I liked the idea of bringing H!P together once again for a single, only three songs to me stood out the most.  Of course the lead track, Busu ni Naranai Tetsugaku was pretty impressive and shows off what the girls sound like today for the most part even though a little of the music borrows ideas from previous H!P songs.  Moshimo… was kind of a bust but it’s clearly because they brough in the squeaky cute vocalists for that and it just didn’t connect.  As for the 5 versions of Kacchoii Uta, only Momosu’s and Berryz’ were great.  The other 3 were just ok and nothing better.  I will say…I wonder how it’d sound if all 5 were played simultaneously…..OMG YES! lol

 

Hello! Project Bekimasu – Makeru na Wasshoi! November 17, 2011

Filed under: Berryz Koubou,C-ute,Mano Erina,S/mileage — solarblade @ 9:59 pm

Track Listing

  1. Makeru na Wasshoi!
  2. Makeru na Wasshoi! (Instrumental)

1. Makeru na Wasshoi!

Since it is the first single as the big group (though without Momosu), Makeru na Wasshoi! had a lot to live up to since it’s a big group song.  For the most part I was impressed by the song since it was youthful and pretty spazzy especially the chorus which in most of the parts it felt like the song was skipping and it kept throwing me off the beat XD.  As for lines the solos really only went to Airi, Miyabi, Yuuka, Risako, ManoEri, Maimi, and Saki (since this song was done before she left S/mileage).  It’s a good song for sure and one of the better H!P songs for the year.

 

 

It’s weird that this song was released at lives in August and now officially announced to be released all-around in December, Makeru na Wasshoi! was a pretty good song and even though Momosu isn’t a part of it, it’s passable!

 

Mano Erina – My Days for You June 28, 2011

Filed under: Mano Erina — solarblade @ 5:57 pm

Track Listing

  1. My Days for You
  2. 10 Carat no Kirameki.
  3. My Days for You (Instrumental)

1. My Days for You

Weird to see that Manoeri actually going back to something light and more focused with piano for an A-side.  It kind of sounds a bit cheesy but in a typical H!P way with how she’s handling the song itself.  To me it harkens back to the days of her debut era where it was pretty much simple songs and nothing random like synths in her last few singles.  It’s alright, but she sounds bored in the song…it could just be me…but still, put some effort in next time!

2. 10 Carat no Kirameki.

Manoeri’s B-sides of recent have been oddballs for me, but I really liked that she took this song and gave it a slight acoustic twist to it and she actually sounds much stronger than in “My Days for You”.  The thing of it though is that it does have a B-side feel, but it’s a bit memorable at the same time.  Ahhhh…..confusing right?

I’m gonna say that this single is pretty bad when compared to her last single, “Seishun no Serenade” in the way that neither track really did stand out from the crowd.  My Days for You does have a little bit of the past written in, but I was tired of that past quickly when she released her first album.  10 Carat no Kirameki. is something new for Manoeri, but something is holding it back from being a great track.  Ehhhh…