Kurayami Monogatari

Would love a comment every so often <<

MEG – CONTINUE February 2, 2014

Filed under: MEG — solarblade @ 9:10 am

ƒvƒŠƒ“ƒg

Track Listing

  1. prologue
  2. Tabidachi no Uta
  3. SAVE
  4. Hanaretai no wa…
  5. WE LIVE, WE LOVE
  6. Kimi ga Tame
  7. Uchuu no MON DIEU
  8. KISS OR BITE (album ver.)
  9. Kurumiwari
  10. clair de lune
  11. A BATTLE OF PARADOX
  12. CONTINUE

1. prologue

Opening the album we get a bit of an introduction with the prologue.  It sounds so dreary and evil that I couldn’t help but perk my ears in interest.  After a little, strings enter the fray with some synths backing up and I was like…MEG being all Final Fantasy on us or something?  I’m actually surprised it wasn’t made into a full song because it sounds like it’s going to be a grand album…maybe…

2. Tabidachi no Uta

Typically, artists with songs titled as such means it’s going to be slightly boring (the song title meaning “Song of Departure”).  Not surprising that the song is a ballad with MEG and piano.  It does follow very well after the “prologue” in where it has this kind of RPG-ish tone to it.  MEG’s vocals are also not bothering me as much as some other songs she’s done which is surprising.  This was actually quite pleasant!

3. SAVE

Being part of the two singles she released simultaneously, SAVE comes with and after “Tabidachi no Uta” this was a bit of a stretch to make this song as it’s quicker-paced and the style is also different focusing more on a fusion of pop/rock and chiptune which makes it a bit different.  After the single release, I’ve started to enjoy it a lot more and has a nice groove and the strings in the song make sense since in a weird way continues this style MEG is trying to put out.  Not bad actually.

4. Hanaretai no wa…

Oh MEG, that intro was a bit odd.  In recent times, MEG has been tapping into some unique styles for music and Hanaretai no wa… seems to be another one that goes into that category.  I enjoy the laidback tone of the song and the synths are simply something to die for.  Groovy song we have and definitely is an early favorite on the album!

5. WE LIVE, WE LOVE

When I get into WE LIVE, WE LOVE, I get this strange 80’s new-wave sort of feel mixed in with some more of that RPG-ish tone and I felt myself being pulled into the music moreso than MEG’s singing.  I think this song kind of represents MEG’s more cute side to her music and if it was just relegated to this, I’d be just fine with this for sure!

6. Kimi ga Tame

Man, why is MEG just hitting the right notes?  Kimi ga Tame switches up from the synths and turned to some rock for Kimi ga Tame and I’m in total love with it!  Her voice does get covered up by the guitars (as they’re furious and definitely the focus).  I will also admit that MEG’s voice isn’t entirely all that strong on their own here but you can tell she’s trying and I’m loving the energy that the song is just throwing out there.  Definitely another awesome track!

7. Uchuu no MON DIEU

I thought there was some kind of theme (with the whole video game shtick).  Uchuu no MON DIEU though seems so oddball on this album.  Opening with pipe organ, harpischord, and a choir that moves into something Elton John would be impressed with and then slows down to MEG actually SINGING and not in her usual style as well….is this even legit?!?  Though once the song opens up more we’re back to MEG sounding like herself lol.  The song itself is bright and full of life, but sometimes I feel it was a bit messy and the back-up vocalists seem so hokey!

8. KISS OR BITE (album ver.)

Wait the other A-side get an album version and “SAVE” doesn’t? *shrugs*  The difference between the two are might quite quickly as it has a different intro.  This time a lightning crash opens alongside some synths and a man’s voice.  The song also got some arrangement touch-ups adding some more gritty guitar riffs and synths to make it more electro/rock and edgier.  It’s quite a buff over the original and I did enjoy that song so it was a good touch-up in the end.

9. Kurumiwari

Ooooh, plucked strings!  Kurumiwari sounds like a song that was made for Halloween with its spooky arrangement and it adds a sense of creepiness because of MEG’s cutesy vocals (though some of the layering on those high notes are bad).  Don’t think it’s over though because halfway through the song, it changes into this almost carnival-setting before settling back in its spooky tone…did Tomoko Kawase produce this? xD.  Strange song though, but I definitely can see myself enjoying this with more listens!

10. clair de lune

Wow, MEG is just making this album all over the place xD.  clair de lune opens with some dissonant chords from the pipe organ which follows through after “Kurumiwari’s” more odd style.  Adding some orchestral stuff, MEG comes in to sing alongside the pipe organ and it sounds really unique and yet something cool.  I actually would prefer this over “Kurumiwari” since it doesn’t have that random carnivale section in it 😛

11. A BATTLE OF PARADOX

Of all the song titles this album had, I was most curious with this one because it just sounds like it’d be a different kind of song for MEG.  I mean strings, brass, and guitars just sounds so good together and MEG really has this nice raspy tone to her voice that just suited the darker sound A BATTLE OF PARADOX.  Though the bridge was trying to set up something big, I was kind of disappointed with the chorus lol.  Later on, we get some gritty dubstep synths thrown in and they kind of threw me off for a loop.  It’s a song you would have to get used to, but I think it’s definitely a grower in that respect.

12. CONTINUE

The album ends with the title track and I was kind of confused because it sounded like a 5 year old was just randomly playing notes on some Casio xD.  Though more synths joined and MEG’s melody actually made it come togther quite nicely.  Even though there’s no supreme big chorus, the song builds on itself and the addition of the strings and brass just made the song seem like the PERFECT ending to this album and I was just left in awe at the end of it all especially since it slowly dies off until all that’s left is piano…what a great way to end it.

Tracks Recommended

  • Kimi ga Tame
  • Hanaretai no wa…
  • CONTINUE
  • clair de lune
  • KISS OR BITE (album ver.)

Song of Avoidance

  • Uchuu no MON DIEU

Wow!  After “WEAR I AM”, I kind of was gaining my interest back as she moved on from Nakata to bigger and better things.  CONTINUE solidified my love for MEG again.  I almost found this to be her best album period as it had such a refreshing sound when compared to her last albums and she sounded good and not waily.  The only thing that bothered me was in fact Uchuu no MON DIEU…it felt so hokey and tacked on and didn’t really fit the album.  Otherwise, this album ranks up there with “STEP” as her best yet! *RECOMMENDED*

 

MEG – SAVE June 8, 2013

Filed under: MEG — solarblade @ 9:19 pm

save

Track Listing

  1. SAVE
  2. Wasurenagusa -Yume wo Mite Ita-
  3. SAVE (off vocal ver.)
  4. Wasurenagusa -Yume wo Mite Ita- (off vocal ver.)

1. SAVE

Compared to “KISS OR BITE” this is less synth heavy and has more focus with 8bit and guitars which is a strange mixture especially with MEG’s vocals being auto-tuned as well so it’s a bit odd.  SAVE though is a bit too frantic and messy in the arrangement and just doesn’t seem to be great A-side material.  I will say that I enjoyed the piano in the middle 8, but the rest of the song is just kind of weak.

2. Wasurenagusa -Yume wo Mite Ita-

I love the intro to Wasurenagusa because of the dreary and sad orchestral background.  It kind of picks up with some fun synths here and there, but the slowness of the song feels a bit too dreary and sluggish of a song to listen to.  It just sounds as messy as “SAVE” if not moreso.

Damn, comparing this single to its counterpart, “KISS OR BITE” is such a wide margin of appreciation.  This single felt lazy to me and both tracks really sounded like a mesh of sound that didn’t work together.  Maybe Wasurenagusa will grow on me, but SAVE just wasn’t that great.

 

MEG ZOMBIES – KISS OR BITE

Filed under: MEG — solarblade @ 9:03 pm

kissorbite

Track Listing

  1. KISS OR BITE
  2. Gladiolus -Yume Nara Ii no ni-
  3. KISS OR BITE (off vocal ver.)
  4. Gladiolus -Yume Nara Ii no ni- (off vocal ver.)

1. KISS OR BITE

Working with Teddyloid (quite well known in the electro community), KISS OR BITE is very familiar to MEG fans who’s been her fans when she was with Nakata and even before.  This song is a bit more gritty and has little traces of dubstep throughout.  I really love the song being so evil and just giving us a different side to MEG…though this feels like it would’ve been more effective as a Halloween released track, let’s be honest!

2. Gladiolus -Yume Nara Ii no ni-

Getting into the B-side of the single, Gladiolus lets up on the dark and creepy sound for something that would’ve oddly fit on her last album, “WEAR I AM”.  It’s got a flurry of synths but it also has some weird quirks about which definitely is MEG’s route for sure.  Her voice is a bit pitchy as she’s singing in a higher register, but it adds to the whole dreamscape sound of the track.  Not bad.

 

 

As the first of two simultaneously released singles out, I was curious about KISS OR BITE more because of the whole MEG ZOMBIES shtick she was doing (and I still don’t understand why it is, but whatever) this is a good single for her.  KISS OR BITE is just an evil song and I’m happy she returned to that for this single because it’s been a while (“FREAK” was probably the last one she did if I remember correctly).  Gladiolus is familiar territory for her, but it’s not bad, just a tad weak for me…still good job!!!

 

MEG – WEAR I AM October 3, 2012

Filed under: MEG — solarblade @ 8:30 am

Track Listing

  1. TRAP
  2. Natsu ga Owaru
  3. HIGHTEEEN
  4. Seventeen Rendezvous
  5. MISS MARTINI
  6. LOVE EMOTION
  7. ZZZ
  8. SOUTHPAW
  9. REPLICA
  10. WEAR I AM

1. TRAP

I love that MEG opens the album with the leading A-side because TRAP is really interesting for both her and the producer, Shinichi Osawa.  It’s got an interesting style and I think MEG sounds really sultry in the song which adds to the smokiness of the tune and classiness it holds.  A great way to begin an album for sure!

2. Natsu ga Owaru

Makes sense that the next track would be Natsu ga Owaru since it shares it accordion style with “TRAP” but this has more of a French feel which is pretty unique and interesting from MEG.  It’s really chill and the song makes me feel happy and breezy.  Plus MEG sounds really good for a song in such style.  Definitely an early favorite on the album.

3. HIGHTEEEN

Moving on to the shortest track on the album (at 3 minutes flat), HIGHTEEEN kind of pulls us out of the French atmosphere and gave us this synth/pop/rock mix which is pretty cool and I like that the energy is moving on up.  It’s a bit cute for her too for me which is new and her voice kind of sounds like later Nakata works.  Song is good, but there are plenty of others that I like!

4. Seventeen Rendezvous

We get the B-side from “TRAP” as our next track and I wasn’t sure it would add to the album because it didn’t really leave much of a mark on me.  I do get that MEG is singing in a filter that makes her sound like she’s singing far and there’s echoing going on.  It’s still a little too lowkey for me (and personally would’ve worked here if it had only been an instrumental interlude).

5. MISS MARTINI

After the last track, the rest of the album is full of new tracks!  MISS MARTINI really caters to that bossa nova/big band/jazz lovers because it holds itself with that arrangement.  MEG really sounds into this song and I can’t blame her because the arrangement is lively and charming and it just works for her.  Classy!

6. LOVE EMOTION

For the people that missed MEG’s more dance-heavy tunes shes got you covered with LOVE EMOTION.  I do find MEG under this weird filter kind of intriguing, but it kind of suits the song’s euro/funk mix.  I feel like the track needed a little more backbone behind it because it would sound EPIC with more bass behind it.  Still, this is quite good and reminds us of the old MEG.

7. ZZZ

With a title like ZZZ, I was kind of expecting a really lowkey ballad here but the song is actually really ethereal and soothing to the ears.  It’s kind of like the song is in this dream-like state and we’re floating in dreamscape (such a cool thing!).  It’s definitely up there as another one of my favorites of the album. 

8. SOUTHPAW

To wake us up from “ZZZ”, SOUTHPAW just blows right through and makes itself standout.  At first I thought it was a cover of that old song, but this actually isn’t which is cool.  The song is energetic and MEG kind of goes back to her weird vocals for this one which kind of took me out of the song (plus ~sousspahhh, sousspahhh, sousspahh~ gets irritating after a while. 

9. REPLICA

So we get towards the end of the album, REPLICA is actually the only song done by Nakata for WEAR I AM and of course, he gives her a pretty boring song.  I mean this feels like it was leftover “MAVERICK” material mixed with a little of Perfume/Kyary.  I just can’t seem to get myself interested with this song even if Nakata is involved…it just sounds lifeless and plain when compared to the rest of the album.

10. WEAR I AM

I like that she closed the album out with the title track (and promotional tune).  The song does sound interesting to me since it has this kind of Disney feel but with beats (plus the weird effects that it goes through) and MEG’s filtered vocals.  It’s a really strange song though (like the second verse)…it’s really messy and kind of trying to go through in these different directions.  At least after that section is over, the song does get back on track and gets better…plus MEG sounds pleasant with this whole orchestral arrangement.  Good way to close the album.

Tracks Recommended

  • Natsu ga Owaru
  • TRAP
  • ZZZ
  • WEAR I AM
  • LOVE EMOTION

Song of Avoidance

  • Seventeen Rendezvous

It’s been quite a while since I’ve reviewed a MEG album, (last was “MAVERICK”) and her first studio album under Starchild has definitely made it worthwhile to get back into her again.  I really thought her last studio album was a borefest and after going through her hiatus and going to France…she came back in a good way…I mean we got a taste of that with “LA JAPONAISE”, but WEAR I AM is all original stuff!  The album was good and is probably her best since “STEP”…a couple of songs were lacking but for the most part, this was good stuff!

 

MEG – TRAP June 19, 2012

Filed under: MEG — solarblade @ 4:08 am

Track Listing

  1. TRAP
  2. Seventeen Rendezvous
  3. Watashi ga Obaasan ni Nattemo (Regular only)
  4. TRAP (off vocal ver.)
  5. Seventeen Rendezvous (off vocal ver.)
  6. Watashi ga Obaasan ni Nattemo (off vocal ver.)

1. TRAP

It has been quite a while since MEG has done something (well besides her cover album).  TRAP is her first A-side in quite a while where Nakata isn’t involved…at least since “FREAK”.  Working with Shinichi Osawa and another person she’s worked with before she met up with Nakata, TRAP really does go back to her earlier stuff like “scanty blues”.  It’s definitely lowkey and quite smooth to listen to.  You can also hear some French-like ideas since she was there during her hiatus and all that.  It’s cool and MEG sounds actually nice amd fits the funky atmosphere.  Great return under a new label and everything ^_^

2. Seventeen Rendezvous

The first B-side of the single also carries the low and chill form but this time MEG’s vocals has a distant echo/filter added on giving this song a very interesting glow and atmosphere.  I don’t find it as great as “TRAP” because I find myself drifting away from it since it lacks movement and keeps at the same pace the entire time (which is a couple seconds shorter than the lead track).  The synth solo and arrangement though is what keeps me around which is nice though.  I’m sure its instrumental is more impressive.

3. Watashi ga Obaasan ni Nattemo

Then we get into another cover song and I recognize it because misono covered it a while ago.  The song is pretty different from the other two because there’s no synthesizers to be found and is more focused on guitars and drums to lead it by.  It’s also quite short at 3 minutes but the song is interesting.  Kind of cute, kind of peppy…but MEG is under auto-tune.  It’s not what I expected to hear…but after “LA JAPONAISE”, anything can happen.

 

 

It’s been quite a while but I think MEG came back with a solid single in TRAP.  I love TRAP for its classy and loungy atmosphere but being cool at the same time.  Seventeen Rendezvous is OK, but I rather listen to its instrumental more than hearing MEG sing (she hasn’t really changed much in vocals).  The cover song is a bit unusual on this single since it doesn’t sound like any of the songs but it’s ok for the most part as well.  WELCOME BACK MEG!

 

MEG – PASSPORT/PARIS August 22, 2010

Filed under: MEG — solarblade @ 7:15 am

Track Listing

  1. PASSPORT
  2. PARIS
  3. PARIS (T12X-mix)

1. PASSPORT

As much as I not surprised about how PASSPORT sounds overall, I still enjoy this song quite a bit.  I do love hearing MEG’s voice more clearly which has been mostly more jumbled in past songs.  Nakata also finally got his head over the water with an interesting arrangement this time and I’m happy to hear something exciting since he’s been mostly not really living up to MEG (example: “MAVERICK”).  Some of the synths sound fresh and interesting. 

2. PARIS

Now we have many firsts going on in the song.  It has been a while since we’ve had a double A-side from MEG so it’s great to see that.  Now Nakata and MEG has put on new sides to them.  PARIS oddly has a reggae-styled sound going and with that is that MEG is singing in French, but there’s some English as well found throughout.  If people are right about the lyrics talkin bout various parts of Paris, then it’s like Nakata went and combined “Rush” and “GRAY” together to get this song.  It’s different I’ll admit and I’m surprised it’s not going to be on “BEST FLIGHT”.

3. PARIS (T12X-mix)

Instead of the reggae-ness of the original, the remix feels more like what Nakata has been sounding like lately with MEG which is kind of plain and not exciting.  There’s just something that is just missing from the song, but I can’t really pinpoint what that might be.  I mean it’s a bit clubby and loungy so it’s smooth but still danceable in a way.  I was kind of hoping Nakata would leave that style back on that album and do something more risky, but w/e winners can’t be choosers.

 

 

Wow, so this is MEG’s final single under UNIVERSAL-J.  I’m not surprised that she is leaving music for a while to fuel up because her music as of lately has been quite mediocre (though I’m blaming partly at both MEG and Nakata) since the arrangements have been just as bad.  At least PASSPORT/PARIS is a good single to depart us with.  My only thing that made me meh was the remix this time.  Well, I guess it’s a little worse than “SECRET ADVENTURE” but I feel like I’m gonna remember this one more.  Oh yeah the tracklist for “BEST FLIGHT” is bogus and so abstract (go look!).

 

MEG – MAVERICK June 20, 2010

Filed under: MEG — solarblade @ 3:18 am

Track Listing

  1. N07B
  2. GRAY
  3. DESTINATION
  4. HANABI
  5. MOSHIMO
  6. GROOVY
  7. YOU
  8. SECRET ADVENTURE
  9. OUR SPACE
  10. STORY
  11. MAVERICK

1. N07B

a 16 second introduction to the album?  I don’t get it but whatever it’s just 2 ahhs and a short piano line filling up the time.  It’s definitely better than whatever the hell that was that began her last album, “BEAUTIFUL”.

2. GRAY

For the first time, we actually have a B-side on an album (“NATALIE” doesn’t count for me”).  I’m for one, really ecstatic to see this on the album because it’s funky and has a great hook to it.  Now since this is MEG’s 4th outing with Nakata by her side…it didn’t seem like the energy between the two was really dying since this song had what I really wanted in a slower MEG song and I loved what I got.

3. DESTINATION

I think DESTINATION is pretty darn catchy because of the opening lines and then fluttering violin line.  I’m not sure about the song but it fits in the same category as “HEART” and “OK” since it’s pretty cutesy and has a solid beat to it.  I actually think of all the new songs I’ve fallen the hardest for this one.

4. HANABI

Oh no…Nakata and MEG + ballads = YIKES!.  I don’t know why they never work together but this song was hard to listen through all the way because MEG’s vocals under legato stylings is pretty much throwing bombs into my ears.  I can tell there’s something interesting going on on Nakata’s part and I love that.  There’s something magical about this tune besides MEG’s vocals…Much better suited for Ami Suzuki I think.

5. MOSHIMO

Going back to some natural instruments, MOSHIMO actually uses piano and drums and for that matter is really the only things present for the song.  Am I the only one thinking of “Hello” from capsule’s recent album, “PLAYER”???  I don’t know why but it has that same mechanical sound that I’m just not getting into here.  It’s also kind of short passing a little over 2 minutes.  Not much here…

6. GROOVY

At least GROOVY picks up the pace after those two meh songs.  Though with a title like GROOVY, I was expecting something more closer to what the title’s meaning.  It’s not that bad though because while MEG’s vocals are more dream-like and the music gets a bit interesting and kind of bouncy with that pico-pico sound going on.  It still doesn’t feel exactly ~groovy~, but it’s kind of catchy and cute.

7. YOU

See, now this would be sort of the groovy song I was thinking of.  Sadly, this is a bit towards a ballad as well.  At least MEG doesn’t sound amazingly horrible like her past ballads.  The held out notes are alright, but it just doesn’t do anything for me…but then again when has an electropop ballad have done anything to me cept cringe?

8. SECRET ADVENTURE

As the only A-side released in the era, SECRET ADVENTURE first started out for me pretty disappointing because she’s had way better songs than this one…but after seeing the PV for it…the song sounds so much better and stronger than I had expected to become.  It’s quirky and somewhat cute, but a little serious as well.  I can totally jam to this tune

9. OUR SPACE

Another goofy track coming up, I’m not sure what to make of this song.  I do like that Nakata took the arrangement and a new and somewhat nostalgic point of view since it reminds me of their Shibuya-kei days roughly.  However the deep synths that slide in the song gave it a nice modern touch as well.  MEG and Shibuya-kei?  That’s a new one…

10. STORY

Omg how MEG opened the first sentence sounded like “GRAY 2”.  STORY was a little fantasy-ish thing going and I thought it was pretty darn cute.  In some ways, Nakata sounded like he was incorporating a little bit of R&B into the song and I didn’t mind that touch at all.  Still…I’m not exactly getting into a mood where I can actually tap my feet to just yet. 

11. MAVERICK

Ending the album with the title track, MAVERICK begins quite sweetly with piano before a beat comes in and becomes like just any other track on the album which is pretty unfortunate.  It might be slightly more serious than the others…but it’s just missing that spark for some reason.  Not the way the album should’ve ended but whatever…

Tracks Recommended

  • GRAY
  • DESTINATION
  • SECRET ADVENTURE
  • OUR SPACE

Song of Avoidance

  • HANABI

I have a bunch of complaints when it comes to MEG’s fourth album with Mr. Nakata.  First off, I do agree with majority of the people that say that MAVERICK is just Nakata’s version of MEG’s last album, “Journey” because it does have a somewhat relaxed setting, but with more synths involved.  However…it didn’t mean that he had to make the songs a bit boring and plain which leads to our next problem…where the FUCK are our hard tracks, Nakata!!!!!  Where’s songs like “MODEL”, “SUPERSONIC”, “MAKE LOVE”, and “SKIN”???  These songs really made me appreciate both artists a whole lot more…and we got nothing from it…The plus side is that this had more flow than “BEAUTIFUL” which is true…but still, there’s not much life in this album…only the four songs really brought out something interesting to me…