Kurayami Monogatari

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Maon Kurosaki – REINCARNATION July 28, 2014

Filed under: Maon Kurosaki — solarblade @ 12:14 pm

reincarnationmaon

Track Listing

  1. X-encounter
  2. -Autonomy-
  3. ALGO ~Who Knows It?~
  4. …Because, in SHADOW
  5. fixxx and lie
  6. K・O・N ♡
  7. Dysomnia
  8. Trying! Trying!
  9. Himawari to Natsu
  10. REINCARNATION

1. X-encounter

So the album kicks off with the lone A-side to represent this album, X-encounter.  I really loved that this song really stepped up Maon’s game by introducing us to this anilectro sound to her music (courtesy from I’ve Sound).  This song is pretty similar to those from the label and it works since Maon’s vocals are really cool and adds a nice touch overall.  It does clock in a a hefty 6 minutes, but it was well worth it!  Great way to kick the album off!

2. -Autonomy-

So since the rest of the album are brand new tracks, I was more than curious to listen to them.  -Autonomy- is a little more heavier than “X-encounter” for sure and has a little more speed behind it, but I think her vocal prowess was more stronger in the former track.  It’s a pretty solid track though and there’s no complaints from me!

3. ALGO ~Who Knows It?~

Oh Maon with your spoken dialogue in the intro, I don’t even know what you said…  ALGO is a much darker song but takes the elements that were in “-Autonomy-” and made it a bit more complicated of a song.  I have to say the uncomfortable verses were cool, but the chorus kind of killed it for me.it definitely didn’t feel like it connected well with how messy the song is otherwise with its arrangement.  I’m not exactly sure how to feel about this track in particular right now.

4. …Because, in SHADOW

Then comes our next track and I’m immediately reminded of songs of I’ve’s past (mostly from MELL and KOTOKO).  What I mean it’s got that signature electro sound that made songs like “no vain” and “SCREW” so highly respected.  I’m LOVING this song for the arrangement primarily, but Maon really makes it her own too which adds to the experience.  It’s dark and mysterious and has a great drive to it.  Definitely the album’s strongest song IMO.

5. fixxx and lie

Then we get into the next track and it opens strong with a rockin’ style before the verses become an interesting synth style and then the chorus I think fuses the two ideas.  It’s a pretty wild song for Maon and she definitely managed to keep up and give a stellar performance here.  It’s a pretty great song on the album and works coming after the previous track.

6. K・O・N♡

Then comes this track which throws a HUGE wrench to the album’s flow.  It sounds so uncharacteristic to Maon as this sounds like some Disney song with the cutesy atmosphere with plucked strings and twinkly synths.  Even Maon is singing in a much higher pitch to imitate a cute voice which while fits…definitely scares me LOL.  I’m not sure what it’s doing on an album like this but it’s definitely the oddball of the album.

7. Dysnomia

After taking that wrong turn, we get back into Maon’s serious stuff with Dysomnia and I love the dramatic introduction with the orchestral instruments and then leads into another I’ve Sound specialty.  It’s a pretty standard song, but it’s just a really cool song to listen to and Maon gives the tune life which always impresses me.  Definitely another song I easily found myself loving!

8. Trying! Trying!

I’m starting to feel like Maon could really fit within I’ve’s ranks as the songs she’s been getting for the most part are quite impressive.  In the case of Trying! Trying! it’s like she’s pulling more of a Mami Kawada vibe with the rock mixed in with the anison/dance beats.  It’s vocally impressive and the acoustic guitar fronted arrangement is pretty interesting.  Definitely the most straightforward of the songs.

9. Himawari to Natsu

I guess this is supposed to be the ballad of the album as it is the slowest and it includes strings and piano (mixed with some ethereal synths).  It’s kind of a simple and plain song which I guess is a nice reprieval from all the exciting songs and all, but by itself, it’s kind of lacking for me.  It might just be the tempo that’s killing me, but I’m not too fond of this one.

10. REINCARNATION

The album ends off with the title track and I didn’t know what to expect out of it, knowing I’ve Sound.  Being the album’s 2nd longest track, I was hoping for something epic.  Luckily, REINCARNATION is pretty much trying for it.  It starts off with a bright feel that included acoustic guitar and a quiet dance beat as it steadily grows into a dance track!  Though it keeps with the bright pace.  It’s a nice track but there was way better songs that are found on this album.

Tracks Recommended

  • …Because, in SHADOW
  • Dysomnia
  • X-encounter
  • fixxx and lie

Song of Avoidance

  • K・O・N♡

Being as this is credited as Maon’s 3rd studio album (though I consider “H.O.T.D.” as her first, REINCARNATION isn’t bad, but doesn’t come at the same level as “VERTICAL HORIZON” did for me.  Though the difference being is that I’ve Sound (and their producers) produced the entire album so I guess it’s not fair really.  A lot of the songs on the album were great to hear and there were a couple slips…especially the SoA (really who was the dumb one to have conjured that icky song?).  Otherwise, this was a solid release (I don’t think I’ve been disappointed in Maon yet!)

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Maon Kurosaki – Glorious world July 23, 2014

Filed under: Maon Kurosaki — solarblade @ 3:17 am

gloriousworld

Track Listing

  1. Glorious world
  2. STEP
  3. a・chi a・chi Adventure

1. Glorious world

Maon released a digital single that’s needed to be reviewed.  Though to me the song sounds a lot like “Memories Last” with its anison/rock sound which is something I normally should be OK with but this doesn’t sound remotely interesting besides Maon’s vocals which is of course at the same calibur as before.  It’s kind of like how I felt with “reimei”…it’s just there.

2. STEP

The B-sides though are cover songs.  Both from a・chi a・chi (an anison band of the late 80’s).  The songs originally had a pretty heavy 80’s sound in Japan so Maon’s version pulls them up to more modern arrangements.  The tune is pretty light and Maon’s vocals make the sound so peppy and lighthearted and I kind of liked it.  One of the nicer songs off the single.

3. a・chi a・chi Adventure

The other cover track, this one is a little more random and strange coming from the previous two tracks.  It’s very synth-heavy and includes some acoustic guitar to kind of spice the track up!  The original is pretty quirky but Maon’s cover is adding a lot interesting sounds alongside making it even random and fun.

 

 

Maon Kurosaki slid a single in before “REINCARNATION” even though this isn’t going to be on said album and it’s a digital release as well.  Glorious world is a bit of a miss.  The leading song is kind of generic and forgetful to me, but the point to focus is on the a・chi a・chi covers as both were done pretty well!  Definitely nice to see Maon cover songs that aren’t part of the regular shpeel of anison songs too.  Overall, OK single.

 

Maon Kurosaki – X-encounter December 2, 2013

Filed under: Maon Kurosaki — solarblade @ 2:43 pm

xencounter

Track Listing

  1. X-encounter
  2. unchain.
  3. X-encounter <instrumental>
  4. unchain. <instrumental>

1. X-encounter

Well I wasn’t sure what to expect after hearing Maon’s glorious sophomore album, so I was happily surprised X-encounter has more of an ani-lectro (yes I so penned it) sound to it and those were the kind of songs I loved!  This song definitely continued this streak of really good songs from Maon and is at the top of my favorite Maon songs out there!  Closed out 2013 in an awesome way!

2. unchain.

With such an awesome A-side, I was wondering what she’d throw out for a B-side.  unchain. sounds a bit more anison than X-encounter but I also love that she left some synths and some cool guitar riffs to carry the song.  Actually, it might be another favorite since it could’ve fit “VERTICAL HORIZON” quite snuggly 😛

 

 

Damn, Maon just keeps rolling out them good songs isn’t she?  Altogther, I think X-encounter is her best single yet.  Both tracks have so much energy and the arrangements are just badass cool to listen to.  This is just a wonderful single and definitely *RECOMMENDED* by me to listen to (especially if you love anison music).

 

Maon Kurosaki – VERTICAL HORIZON November 22, 2013

Filed under: Maon Kurosaki — solarblade @ 9:44 am

verticalhorizon

Track Listing

  1. Umare Iduru Monogatari
  2. UNDER/SHAFT
  3. 【Dreamed wolf】
  4. Juu Oni no Kizuna
  5. VERTICAL HORIZON
  6. starry×ray
  7. Dresser Girl…♡
  8. Distrigger
  9. Nari Hibiita Kodou no Naka de, Boku wa Seijaku wo Kiku
  10. FRIDAY MIDNIGHT PARTY!!
  11. Just believe.
  12. reimei
  13. story ~Kimi e no Tegami~

1. Umare Iduru Monogatari

We begin the album with a minute introduction track, Umare Iduru Monotgatari and all it really is mostly a piano melody and some haunting sounds but it grows more louder with some spiffy synth sounds and then quietly ends when it hits the loudest point.  It’s ok, but nothing to groundbreaking.

2. UNDER/SHAFT

It leads to the 3rd A-side released, UNDER/SHAFT!  It works because the haunting intro beforehand does make it suit since UNDER/SHAFT is one of the more darker songs Maon released.  As a standalone, I did say it wasn’t as good as most of the songs from “HELL:ium”, but this works on its own since it sounds more anison than those songs so it’s a good mix of the two ideas.

3. 【Dreamed wolf】

The first new song on the album, 【Dreamed wolf】 might just be the first new track to blow me away completely!  It starts dark like “UNDER/SHAFT” then it became this synth beat before letting loose fully as a rock song and returning with the harpischord and I’m just loving this side to Maon’s music.  She sounds absolutely great in this song and the chorus is powerful as well!  Maybe “Umare Iduru Monogatari” would’ve suited better with this song as the preceding track because this impact would’ve benefitted more here.  Still, this was a much more impressive start to the album!

4. Juu Oni no Kizuna

The heavy rock theme continues onto our next new song, Juu Oni no Kizuna but this time includes some anison keyboards and strings to give it a wider sound that the previous track didn’t have.  I have to say that this worked better as a anison rock track moreso over “UNDER/SHAFT” and that’s a bit shocking to me.  Maon sounds even MORE amazing as she has such control and she just made the song perfectly here, I would say it’s equal to the last track on favorites!

5. VERTICAL HORIZON

Then we enter the title track and I was kind of wondering what we’d get.  It seems to be the bridge out from the harder rock songs because VERTICAL HORIZON isn’t really on the rock side of things (cept the chorus).  This is actually kind of a ballad in a weird way, but I do like how sly and smooth it sounds.  Plus Maon is hitting some pretty high notes which impresses me.  It did stop the flow of the album pretty hard, but I still did find this song very well done and loved Maon’s performance the most.

6. starry×ray

Which baffles me because starry×ray is a bit more of that rockin’ style, but then again it actually focuses more on the synths and electronic style which I’ve always wanted to see more of from Maon.  I really love the mix of the styles and Maon’s vocals being layered and focusing more on the lower register is awesome!!  She actually kind of reminds me of Nana Mizuki in this song and I LOVE IT!  Even though the bang is not huge, it’s still a pretty wicked song and definitely is up there on favorites!

7. Dresser Girl…♡

Remember “Emergence!” from her previous album?  I felt like this song was to be the sequel because this song is definitely riding Maon’s electro side quite nicely but there’s just something quirky about the song and Maon’s vocals.  I just found this to be in a level of its own because whoever produced this wins in my book because it has attitude and it’s just a lot of fun to listen to.  Another favorite!

8. Distrigger

It seems like we’re already leaving the synthwork to go back to a mix of guitars and synths with Distrigger.  I like that the song focuses on the rock and less on the synthwork (so its opposite to “starry×ray”).  She vocally sang her ass off here and that’s what I enjoyed, BUT the song compared to other big hits on the album seems to not be as strong?  I don’t know but it is surpassed by many songs on this album!

9. Nari Hibiita Kodou no Naka de, Boku wa Seijaku wo Kiku

Ok, so the main song from “HELL:ium” comes next and while that title is still rather long, it’s still actually pretty damn good!  I was surprised it wasn’t placed near the other hard songs, but then again listeners I don’t think would be OK with that.  I would say it falls in between “Dreamed Wolf” and “Distrigger” which is pretty cool xD.  It still is pretty awesome of a song and definitely deserved its place on the album!

10. FRIDAY MIDNIGHT PARTY!!

With such a title, I was really expecting a girly song but it’s kind of a lighter rock track on the album which is a nice change of pace from the more aggressive stuff.  I kind of reminds me of SCANDAL’s songs if you heard their music because this punk rock is kind of their thing and Maon sounds girly enough…not bad, but like “Distrigger”, surpassed by many!

11. Just believe.

I was kind of surprised she didn’t seem to end the album with this song because it just screams ending song for the album.  Though being from the “HELL:ium” single, I’m quite glad she chose this but, I wished she just threw the entire single on here.  I love the flow of the song and Maon just sounds so beautiful singing this ballad, but like I said…weird placement >.>

12. reimei

Which is led to what I think is the worst A-side Maon has done.  It really sticks out on the album in the worst way possible!  I mean I know she’s an anison singer and all but honestly, listen to the album and then listen to how much sense this song makes.  I don’t even think Maon really sounds all that great and even sounds like she’s holding back.  I just never got into this song, though it would’ve been a good song back on “Butterfly Effect” to be honest.

13. story ~Kimi e no Tegami~

The album ends with story which is a bit more uplifting than “Just believe.” but I think they should’ve traded places as it would’ve been more appropriate to end with the mentioned track.  Plus it also had a pretty rockin’ chorus which would’ve suited nicely after “FRIDAY MIDNIGHT PARTY!!”.  Vocally, it’s not that memorable, but I suppose it works with the feelings the song was putting out.  story isn’t a bad decision, but not well enough to be the ending of the album.

Tracks Recommended

  • 【Dreamed wolf】
  • Dresser Girl…♡
  • Nari Hibiita Kodou no Naka de, Boku wa Seijaku wo Kiku
  • Juu Oni no Kizuna
  • Just believe.

Song of Avoidance

  • reimei

Let’s be straightforward with this, VERTIAL HORIZON STOMPS ON HER LAST ALBUM!  There are no words to explain how badass this album is.  I mean it took out the things that Maon didn’t really get right from “H.O.T.D.”, “Butterfly Effect” and her mini-album and just stuck to her guns and wow there was just a lot of win on this album.  The only track that didn’t really work was reimei (and I presume the only reason it’s even here is because it was an A-side).  I’m surprised I missed this album and happy I decided to relisten to Maon *RECOMMENDED*!!!

 

Maon Kurosaki – UNDER/SHAFT October 18, 2012

Filed under: Maon Kurosaki — solarblade @ 10:12 am

Track Listing

  1. UNDER/SHAFT
  2. Crimson roses
  3. UNDER/SHAFT (Inst)
  4. Crimson roses (Inst)

1. UNDER/SHAFT

I’m so happy Maon returned with some cool with UNDER/SHAFT.  We’re back to the dark and evil atmosphere which is something Maon should just stick with.  It still doesn’t really have to awesome atmophere that the “HELL:ium” single had but this suits her style nicely and it could grow on me in time.

2. Crimson roses

I’m surprised Crimson roses is a long track at 6 and a half minutes in length.  However, that worry goes away because this song has some EPIC guitar lines!  This is just dramatic and epic and oddly enough reminds me of “I’m still breathing…” but a tad longer. 

 

 

After that very disappointing single in “reimei”, I was more than happy to see that UNDER/SHAFT brough her back up to where she was initially with my interests.  The leading track is dark, synthy, and somewhat anison but I really loved her voice and she worked that song (though it could’ve had a little more oomph).  Crimson roses was the better track though and had a lot more going on in the arrangement.  Awesome B-side.  Overall…this is probably her second best single, behind “HELL:ium”.

 

Maon Kurosaki – reimei August 14, 2012

Filed under: Maon Kurosaki — solarblade @ 8:09 am

Track Listing

  1. reimei
  2. Hiyoku -Contrast with you-
  3. reimei <instrumental>
  4. Hiyoku -Contrast with you- <instrumental>

1. reimei

I wasn’t surprised that reimei wouldn’t be as hard-hitting as anything from “HELL:ium” but it’s really nice to see her go back to something that’s like stuff from her second album.  reimei is pretty much your typical anison song which could be bad but to me it’s all right but nothing like her last two singles sadly.

2. Hiyoku -Contrast with you-

I have to say that “reimei” does sound like an opening theme, but Hiyoku definitely has that closing theme part down so it quite works as the B-side.  I like the dramatic feel of the song but that’s really about it for the song because it’s super slow and while Maon sounds amazing, she just can’t keep the song interesting (at least for me).

 

 

I’m surprised at the drop from “HELL:ium here.  Of the four singles she’s released since her debut, reimei is probably her worst single.  I mean both songs reek of typical anime fare and it just doesn’t cut it this time around, especially how amazing her stuff has been.  I guess she needed a bad single and this would be it.  I do like reimei more than Hiyoku..but both are just kind of bleh from her.

 

Maon Kurosaki – HELL:ium May 16, 2012

Filed under: Maon Kurosaki — solarblade @ 6:36 am

Track Listing

  1. Nari Hibita Kodou no Naka de, Boku wa Seijaku wo Kiku
  2. I’m still breathing…
  3. Just believe.
  4. Nari Hibita Kodou no Naka de, Boku wa Seijaku wo Kiku -Instrumental-
  5. I’m still breathing… -Instrumental-
  6. Just believe. -Instrumental-

1. Nari Hibita Kodou no Naka de, Boku wa Seijaku wo Kiku

I’m surprised this single doesn’t have a song called HELL:ium since this would totally fit the description because this is pretty hardcore and rockin’ (like the stuff she released when she debuted).  I love the nature of the song and enjoying hearing Maon really power through the song like she’s been doing this for a long time.  It’s pretty badass and just really filled that rockin’ anison side I love to hear once in a while.  Epic tune!

2. I’m still breathing…

While I’m not sure if this is a B-side or not, I’m going to assume it is.  I’m still breathing… doesn’t let up on the rockin’ nature much but the song has a much creepier setup than “Nari Hibita…”.  It’s pretty dramatic and a little goth in areas but I’m still enjoying Maon’s powerful vocals here for some reason.  Loved it!

3. Just believe.

Unlike the previous two tracks, this song is kind of the ballad of the single but I like how it works since “I’m still breathing…” is kind of the bridge in between the two tracks.  It’s really good and she’s pulling off such great vocals and power behind such a quiet arrangement.  Good way to close things off!

 

 

Maon might be quite busy these days mixing her solo career and her ALTIMA works but she came back to her solo career with a kickass start with HELL:ium.  All three songs are just amazing and I was surprised she could have released something this great (don’t get me wrong I liked her second album and all but still these three songs are up there at the top!).  *RECOMMENDED*