Kurayami Monogatari

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Masami Mitsuoka – LOVE BRACE/innocence May 23, 2012

Filed under: Masami Mitsuoka — solarblade @ 12:08 am

Track Listing

  1. LOVE BRACE
  2. innocence
  3. LOVE BRACE -Instrumental-
  4. innocence -Instrumental-

1. LOVE BRACE

I was surprised Masami would release LOVE BRACE as a digital single more or less becoming a special A-side for her which I’ll explain more later haha.  Also known is that this is a cover of an older Tomomi Kahala song.  I actually like Masami’s version more because her voice sounds a lot cleaner and focused than Tomomi’s original but the fault lies in that Masami doesn’t have the power and vibrato that Tomomi had…but I still enjoyed how smooth this was.  Arrangement-wise, it flows nicely and it sounds like the original quite nicely.  Not bad for a cover and one of her better things she’s done since she returned to her original name.

2. innocence

The other A-side though is a recut track, more specifically the promotional song from “PAST TRUNK”, her latest album.  I do like innocence though so just merely seeing it on the single is both great and a bit disappointing at the same time.  It’s still quite a good song, still screams Ayu from time to time but this isn’t bad.

 

 

I was surprised that this was only a TOWER Records exclusive single and all that..but this is not bad of a single if you’re just a casual fan and not following.  If you are then yeah it is disappointing because one song was a digital single and the other was a lead-in song from Masami’s “PAST TRUNK” album.  LOVE BRACE was a pretty solid cover and innocence was nice to listen to after getting through the fact that Ayu would sound better here.  Strange release though…

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Masami Mitsuoka – PAST TRUNK March 26, 2012

Filed under: Masami Mitsuoka — solarblade @ 2:37 am

Track Listing

  1. OUT of STEP
  2. inter face
  3. dead end
  4. Nothing Spirit
  5. Private moon
  6. Kaleidoscope
  7. monologue letter
  8. TRICK
  9. Real Face
  10. Doll
  11. innocence
  12. garden

1. OUT of STEP

Starting Masami’s album with the digital single, OUT of STEP opens up things with a bang.  Starting with this odd ethnic sound before edgy guitars and flowing strings enter the fray, OUT of STEP is definitely back to Masami’s Ayu-like style of music which could be interesting.  I do feel like I’m listening to Ayu for some reason because it sounds like it belongs on “GUILTY” or something.  It’s not bad for what it is though so I guess that’s good right?

2. inter face

With a title like that, I was expecing something like an interlude for some reason.  Coming off her Mizca experience, inter face might be close to it sinec there’s synths and quick lyrical spitting as well.  I do think Masami has problems with emoting and the arrangement of the song feels rather dated (which isn’t new for me).  It’s not bad but I think of “last cross” whenever I hear this.  Still not bad though.

3. dead end

Actually, dead end might be something totally unexpected because of the harder guitars that almost parallel faylan’s work.  I kind of enjoyed the song a lot and while I do feel the chorus is weak compared to the verses, it’s overall pretty impressive and one of the cooler songs she has under her belt…she even snuck in some Mizca with the 8-bit parts.  Pretty impressive of a song though ^^

4. Nothing Spirit

After three upbeat songs, we get into the first ballad of the album in Nothing Spirit and it’s interesting since it does remind me of some songs from “Black Diary”.  Sadly, the arrangement screams some old Ayu ballads which once again is Masami’s shtick.  Kind of reminds me of “Secret” or “Decision”.

5. Private moon

Which leads to our problem in Private moon.  A little more of a happier ballad compared to “Nothing Spirit”, this song is quite odd since it reminds me of “Rafiora” but somehow finds its own place on the album.  I still don’t remember it very well beyond that because of this fact but it’s whatever.

6. Kaleidoscope

I can see that this is going to be “Black Diary” pt. 2 with the way the album is turning out.  While I do think this escapes the ballad zone, it’s still a bit on the slower side and kind of has the anime ending tone which is a little weird to me.  Kaleidoscope just flies by my mind at the end of it all sadly.

7. monologue letter

A line of slow songs huh?  At this point of the album I’m just kind of yawning and rather wanting to get through this area (if it ends).  monologue letter lacks energy and with Masami not putting a lot of emotional in her vocals it just makes this song bland and boring overall.

8. TRICK

At least we finally get out of the slow section and get into TRICK which brings back Masami’s anime-esque style with gritty guitar riffs and synthetic sounds placed throughout.  I like the creepy vibes with this one and Masami’s tone doesn’t seem to take away from the track unlike in previous songs.  Definitely the album’s best song lol.

9. Real Face

I guess “TRICK” was only used to break the ballad line for a short time because Real Face reenters the ballad zone once again.  It does remind me of “monologue letter” but a little more mysterious with the crystalline background music for some reason.  It almost makes the song very mysterious and different which is what I wanted from Masami.  It does grow into a guitar-laced chorus which reminds me of Ayu’s “SCAR” if only a little bit.  Not bad for a ballad though…probably the best one of them oddly enough.

10. Doll

Doll comes in next and continues to be trying to be like “Hana” or something which I don’t disagree to enjoying but I thought it’d be nice for something new unfortunately.  I’m trying to find something that makes it stand out but there really isn’t…just feels like many of the songs here meshed together.

11. innocence

As the album’s lone promotional song (and the only one with a PV here), innocence was probably the best choice she could’ve made probably.  I mean I could’ve enjoyed seeing a “TRICK” or “dead end” PV but this works as well.  I mean I can’t think of any song that it rips off from Ayu which is pretty good.  It does have a “Black Diary” sound as well which might not impress people but this was nice for some reason.  Not a bad choice to promote…ehhh I think?

12. garden

As the album’s shortest song under three minutes and the final track, garden actually sounds really good and has the most emotion I can find through all the ballads oddly enough.  I will say the arrangement isn’t something to gasm about since it’s cello and piano for the majority of it…it grows with strings.  Very pretty but it doesn’t make up for all the previous songs x.x

Tracks Recommended

  • TRICK
  • dead end
  • garden
  • Real Face
  • innocence

Song of Avoidance

  • monologue letter

Since I can’t really compare to the last album (since it’s totally two different genres and different pennames), I can compare to Masami’s debut album, “Black Diary”.  I feel like PAST TRUNK didn’t really excel at anything to make it better than her debut sadly…and I don’t think she made a better album because they aren’t really any songs that stood out in a good way unlike her first which had “last cross” and “Single Stone”.  I do wish that she goes back to Mizca and finish the second era since it left “1925” and “Rafiora” all lonely with no album.  Yeah, this album just failed for me.

 

Mizca – Rafiora June 20, 2011

Filed under: Masami Mitsuoka — solarblade @ 8:42 pm

Track Listing

  1. Rafiora
  2. Delightfully
  3. My Room Disco Night
  4. Rafiora (Instrumental)

1. Rafiora

Hmmm…Mizca covering Golden Bomber…strange if you ask me.  It’s even stranger that Mizca is off the vocoder for this A-side and to me it feels like she’s going back to her Masami Mitsuoka days.  Otherwise I wasn’t too phased and she sounds alright, but nothing totally exciting and the synthy arrangement of the song kind of makes it odd for me.  It sounds lifeless to be honest.  I much prefer “1925”.

2. Delightfully

As the only original track featured on the single, Delightfully really goes back to when she was Masami because there’s places where I instantly think she’s trying to be Ayu again.  At least Masami is sounding a bit more lively than she did in “Rafiora” in the least but at the same time, it’s sort of a big step back since this doesn’t have any of the synths I’m so used to with Mizca….

3. My Room Disco Night

Luckily we have My Room Disco Night, which a cover of another VOCALOID song that’s out there.  Now this was what I was expecting since Mizca is under vocoder and there’s a whole lot of synths.  It sounds kind of epic after the previous two songs.  I enjoyed the fact that it sounds great with the chords of the song and she sounds quite lively too.  hmmmm

 

 

This single is a wtf on her part since two of the three songs didn’t have Masami under any vocal devices and the overall sound was a bit like the past before she changed to Mizca.  At least we had My Room Disco Night was what saved the single from pure fail, but it’s still not that great.  GET BACK TO UBER SYNTHS….OR pal@pop XD

 

Mizca – 1925 March 15, 2011

Filed under: Masami Mitsuoka — solarblade @ 12:18 am

Track Listing

  1. 1925
  2. FLY FLY FLIGHT!!
  3. Hoshi no Tsubutsubu (Type A only)
  4. Suki na no (Type B only)

1. 1925

I wasn’t sure if Masami was going to continue under her Mizca name, but I guess she wants to.  As it’s a cover of a VOCOLOID track from T-POCKET, I thought it was an interesting move and better that pal@pop had nothing to do with the song.  To be honest, hearing Mizca not under ultimate amounts of auto-tune is a blessing and she did the song quite good despite having a lackluster PV for it.  It’s a little different from stuff in her last era, but it’s a good change.

2. FLY FLY FLIGHT!!

As the single’s true B-side, FLY FLY FLIGHT!! starts off with a cool beat and sound with Mizca talking.  This song does make me question things at first because her first singing parts were horribly offkey…but when she sings in the chorus, the melodic properties start to fit in.  Luckily, that was the only time we hear the as the song is great.  I will say that since her producer here, T-POCKET, did this track, the auto-tune was used a bit better.  Just get ready because this song gets repetitive very quick!

3. Hoshi no Tsubutsubu

On the Type A edition of the single, we get the digital single that was released back in December, Hoshi no Tsubutsubu.  Giving the fact that it was released as a holiday song, you can easily tell that not much really changed since “♡UFUFU♡” except that this is about Christmas XD.  Once again, Mizca is overloaded under auto-tune which bothered me in this song the most for some reason.  Not a big fan when it first was released and hasn’t changed since then.

4. Suki na no

On the Type B edition, we get a new version of “Takkun ga Suki na no…” off from Mizca’s first album.  Thank god, because the original was so annoying because of the rapper.  Even the arrangement has sort of changed around to make it sound more lowkey and mysterious.  I can also tell that they backed off on the auto-tune a tad, making it less grating to ears.  Must say, this should’ve been the first released…

As Mizca begins her sophomore era, 1925 was an interesting way to begin an era.  The fact she had someone else produce her for the A-side and first B-side gives a much needed change after two singles with robo-rapping hahaha.  Also hearing Mizca’s vocals without auto-tune for once was good for her I think.  Suki na no was also good even though it’s a retread on an older song, I thought she did better since there weren’t as many annoyances.  FLY FLY FLIGHT!! and Hoshi no Tsubutsubu aren’t that memorable for me, but it continues to have the sound Mizca had since she debuted or at least tried….weird single if you ask me.

 

Mizca – ♡UFUFU♡ July 24, 2010

Filed under: Masami Mitsuoka — solarblade @ 3:55 pm

Track Listing

  1. Kirakira☆
  2. Dame yo♡ ~Album Ver.~
  3. Setsunasa Plus
  4. Robotics
  5. C♡ndy Girl
  6. United To The Sky 2.0
  7. Chu!
  8. Best!_Best!_Best!
  9. Kisses
  10. Jump
  11. Truly Lovely ~Album ver.~
  12. Takkun ga Suki na no… (Mizca feat. ALLaNHiLLZ)

1. Kirakira☆

Starting the album with Mizca’s physical debut, I thought not changing was pretty good, but since returning back to the song, I feel it’s gotten oddly slower?  It’s probably just me.  Now this was also the first time we see Mizca’s robo-rapping and I thought (damn, girl can spit lyrics out FAST).  I did love the song when it first came out but since then her 2nd A-side took over.

2. Dame yo♡ ~Album ver.~

Which is why I’m surprised it was given a new version which is more or less better than the original.  To me, I don’t like it as much as the original because I was more used to the crazy sound that filled up.  It seems pal@pop decided to use different synths in the song, but altogether sounds lighter than the original, but Mizca’s vocals stay the same.  I still call it “The Mayo song”.

3. Setsunasa Plus

Getting into our first new song off the album, Setsunasa Plus has a more fantasy-ish arrangement with sparkling synths.  Since this is also the first song not to feature the robo-rapping here, Setsunasa Plus takes things on a lighter note and I kind of enjoyed it, even though Mizca is sadly sounding like a VOCALOID.

4. Robotics

Time to whip out Mizca’s first song to be released since changing names and style, Robotics is probably still one of my favorite techno songs from 2009.  I don’t know why but being a song that sounds underproduced and kind of in its beta stage, Robotics is an interesting tune for me.  I mean it is also the slowest of the A-sides so that should tell you something.  Plus all that English is pretty funny to listen too!

5. C♡ndy Girl

I’m wondering what her producer is up to with this song because it sounds like new wave, 8bit, and some other random electro styles put together.  I actually enjoyed the arrangement a whole lot and Mizca’s uber-auto-tuned vocals are a bit strange, but I think it’s actually pretty cool of a song.  The chorus could’ve used some extra work and not being messy, but it’s short and we’re back to cool stuff.  I like this song.

6. United To The Sky 2.0

Being another album version of one of “Kirakira☆’s” B-sides, United To The Sky on the single sounded pretty much boring to me.  The new version of it takes it and makes it more energetic which is good and I still enjoy the verses quite a bit.  I’ll give props to her for making the chorus a little more easier to listen to, but I still don’t feel for the song otherwise.

7. Chu!

I think Chu! is the album’s more grittier song and sounds kind of hard and edgy for a pal@pop and Mizca song.  I actually felt once again that the chorus was just too much for me, but the verses and arrangement were pretty different and cool.  I’d say it parallels “Robotics” but it’s a bit darker sounding.

8. Best!_Best!_Best!

It’s kind of funny that the ending for “Chu!” kind of slides into this song quite smoothly…strange how that works.  Once again the arrangement here is pretty much cool and loud so you won’t be disappointed in that, but this time I actually don’t like the verses or chorus so altogether, I just didn’t enjoy the song.  All it did was give me a headache because of the over-amount of auto-tune.

9. Kisses

Taking a slight chill pill for Kisses, I thought it was a nice change, but it sounds so repetitive that it just flew over my head.  Compared to the other songs, it sounds loungy and a bit more club-like which is pretty cool.  Otherwise, I just couldn’t remember much besides the repeating lines.

10. Jump

I don’t know why but this sounds a little bit like “Takkun ga Suki na no…” in its arrangement but more light-hearted.  Now I didn’t like Mizca’s lifeless performance because it just put me to sleep pretty quickly.  I think it’s a little bit too slow for me, but whatever.  At least she shows emotion in the song.

11. Truly Lovely ~Album ver.~

Another B-side off of “Kirakira☆”, Truly Lovely also had some changes done.  The synth is a little bit higher pitched and clearer sounding which is such a good thing for me.  Am I hearing a little bit of pipe organ as well?  It sounds like Mizca’s vocals aren’t as horrible to listen to as the original as well which basically make this version so much better. 

12. Takkun ga Suki na no… (Mizca feat. ALLaNHiLLZ)

Ending the album, Takkun ga Suki na no… was chosen as the album’s odd promotional song with the PV being really weird…  It just a lot of text and Takkun just moving his hips to the music.  Now to the song itself, it’s a slower than a lot of the songs off the album, but the synths are nice to hear.  I do hate the fact there’s an actual rapper in the song and unfortunately he’s quite boring to listen to and kind of sucks and so does Mizca when she sings since it’s mega covered in VOCALOID land.

Tracks Recommended

  • Robotics
  • Chu!
  • Kirakira☆
  • C♡ndy Girl
  • Truly Lovely ~Album ver.~

Song of Avoidance

  • Best!_Best!_Best!

While I didn’t think it was going to be as bad as I initially thought it’d be, it’s still basically one of my least favorite electro album released this year.  It’s just as hard to listen to fully like “SPIRAL” and most of the songs that I liked are found on singles anyway.  While this is Mizca’s first album, and Masami’s 2nd…I wonder if she’ll ditch electro and go back copying Ayu, or stick with this…I rather her go back to being the emotional lyricist when she was Masami Mitsuoka.

 

Mizca – Dame yo♡ June 20, 2010

Filed under: Masami Mitsuoka — solarblade @ 2:17 am

Track Listing

  1. Dame yo♡
  2. Music
  3. last cross ~Virus Ver.~

1. Dame yo♡

I’ll be honest, I much prefer Dame yo♡’s arrangement and such over her last A-side.  I’m not sure why because this song has a pretty close relation to each other.  The only difference is that Masami’s vocals are more digitalized to the point where I think it’s a VOCALOID taking over instead.  I’m happy that the arrangement isn’t as in your face as “Kirakira☆”.  The robo-rapping Masami does is pretty nifty, but we’ve already seen it and it’s quickly becoming old for me, but I still much prefer this song ^_^.

2. Music

The B-side of the single, Music is pretty interesting musically since it’s a whole lot more complete sounding than the B-sides off the last single.  However, the VOCOLOID overload still is prevelent and kind of makes cringe just a little bit.  I mean listen to the verses…it’s so drowned with auto-tune that she sounds dead.  At least the chorus sounds relatively nice to me. 

3. last cross ~Virus Ver.~

The biggest disappointment coming from the single was in fact trying to remix one of her old songs when she was known as “Masami Mitsuoka”.  last cross was her 4th A-side released and hearing it getting the electropop gloss was terrifying at the least.  Her voice went up a whole lot for me and the only reason people would recognize it is because of the vocal melody.  Sad, because I love last cross…and this was a travesty.

 

 

I really don’t know where Mizca is going with this electro sidequest, but I’m not enjoying it anymore because her voice is so digitalized that it just doesn’t sound natural (or good for that matter) anymore.  Dame yo♡ is in between “Robotics” (the better one) and “Kirakira☆”.  Music is her best B-side yet and well the remix for last cross should never be mentioned again!  I really have no expectations for “♡UFUFU♡” and I don’t expect it to be any good.

 

Mizca – Kira Kira☆ January 20, 2010

Filed under: Masami Mitsuoka — solarblade @ 6:05 am

Track Listing

  1. Kira Kira☆
  2. Truly Lovely
  3. United To The Sky 1.02

1. Kira Kira☆

After “Robotics”, I wasn’t sure where Masami was going, but with her debut A-side, Kira Kira☆ is actually a pretty cool song.  I mean this time her producer filled the song up nicely with cool rhythms and got Masami to get her lyrics out at a very surprising speed which made me think she’s got some talent.  I was impressed by this song, so it’s definitely leading her in the right direction.

2. Truly Lovely

Truly Lovely, the first B-side kind of has a relaxing electronica feel, but it has Masami singing really high in the song which kind of makes me cringe a little.  The verses bring back Masami to a whispering/speaking fast kind of way.  It’s kind of a simple song, but the music is quite ethereal and soothing to listen to.  Definitely something different and I like it.  Even though she hits those high notes kind of harshly.

3. United To The Sky 1.02

I’m guessing this is a second version, because this wasn’t there on her official site until recently.  United To The Sky brings the pace of the single back up and we here Masami’s vocals a little more deeper than the previous two songs.  The arrangement is more or less a mix between the two songs, but there’s just something missing here.  The verses are pretty cool, but the chorus kind of rubs me the wrong way.

 

 

I think Masami found her niche in the electro scene with her debut single.  Even though “Robotics” is now pretty good to me, Kira Kira☆ was an instant song for me and I really like the more sound in pal@pop’s music.  The B-sides still has some refining to do, but I know with a little more time Mizca will get going with good songs.