Kurayami Monogatari

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Megumi Hayashibara – Tsubasa October 18, 2012

Filed under: Megumi Hayashibara — solarblade @ 7:19 am

Track Listing

  1. Tsubasa
  2. Amazing Grace
  3. Tsubasa (off vocal ver.)
  4. Amazing Grace (off vocal ver.)

1. Tsubasa

It’s strange to see Megumi singing with more of an anison tone for Tsubasa, but then again she also has been in this business for such a long time.  Tsubasa is a big surprise for me since unlike her previous singles, she sings with little background arrangement support.  It’s different and I really like this empty solitude of sound from Megumi.  As time goes on, sounds are added to give more life and broaden the playing field and it comes to a soft close.  Not what I was expecting from Megumi, since she’s been so upbeat with the A-sides from “CHOICE”.

2. Amazing Grace

Then I see this and I clearly start to frown.  Though I love the clarinet in the arrangement since it gives such a unique taste.  Then Megumi comes in and she sounds amazing singing this song even though Amazing Grace itself is so ugh-worthy.  Then she pulls a random card and starts to sing the song in Japanese and that made me notice pretty quickly that she took her time with this cover.  Then she stops singing and the song gets brighter and peppy for some reason….more woodwinds, a harp, and harpischord are suddenly thrown into the song…it just baffles me!  Once Megumi returns, the song goes back to the way it was from the starts and ends it….strange…

 

 

It’s been quite a while since Megumi has released a single on her own and Tsubasa was a giant switch of ideas that what I’m used to.  Both tracks being ballads and to actually say that I preferred Amazing Grace over Tsubasa is sheer sacrilage on my part.  It’s really because Megumi’s vocals were 10x better than in Tsubasa….her vocals in the A-side were rather high-pitched….overall it’s good….not what I’m used to but it’s good.

 

Megumi Hayashibara – Shuuketsu no Sadame July 23, 2010

Filed under: Megumi Hayashibara — solarblade @ 7:41 pm

Track Listing

  1. Shuuketsu no Sadame
  2. Kyou no Hi wa Sayonara Maternal ver.
  3. Shuuketsu no Sadame (off vocal version)
  4. Kyou no Hi wa Sayonara Maternal ver. (off vocal version)

1. Shuuketsu no Sadame

I wonder if there’s a connection between this song and “Shuuketsu no Sono e” because they both begin with some chanting before the actual song starts up.  I like that this song sounds a bit more gothic and graceful in its presentation and that’s good to hear.  While I do think her previous A-side still has more action going on. Shuuketsu no Sadame follows behind and I thought it’s a good start to a new era.

2. Kyou no Hi wa Sayonara Maternal ver.

While the original is found on an Evangelion soundtrack from last year, Megumi decides to revamp it for this single.  I like how the song opens up with a music box melody before Megumi comes in and sings the song with nothing but herself, but the music box returns soon after and then strings after.  It just kind of builds into this grandiose piece that sounds rather fresh to me.

 

 

While it was released simultaneously with “CHOICE”, I think Shuuketsu no Sadame kicks a new era off quite nicely with a good animu track and a good revamp of an older song.  Not many problems here but I definitely wouldn’t rank this above “Plenty of grit/Revolution”.

 

Megumi Hayashibara – CHOICE

Filed under: Megumi Hayashibara — solarblade @ 7:07 pm

Track Listing

  1. Shuuketsu no Sono e ~AYANAMI ver.~
  2. Shuuketsu no Sono e
  3. Lucky & Happy
  4. A Happy Life
  5. Ame no Inu
  6. Career Girl not Woman
  7. Ao Shashin
  8. Sunadokei
  9. Plenty of grit
  10. Front breaking
  11. http://www.co.jp ~Ballad Version~
  12. JUST BEGUN
  13. Revolution

1. Shuuketsu no Sono e ~AYANAMI ver.~

Did we really need to begin the album with the AYANAMI version of her last single released in the era?  I don’t like it as much as the original, but it does make a good opening to the album.  The difference is pretty wide since this version takes out a lot of the edge the original had and Megumi is voicing her character so it’s kind of just there for me.

2. Shuuketsu no Sono e

I do enjoy the primary version of Shuuketsu no Sono e because it is more energetic in its arrangement and the fact there’s synths, strings, and guitars are a pretty nice combination.  I noticed Megumi is singing pretty much fast in the verses but takes everything normally.  It is your typical animu song, but it’s pretty good.

3. Lucky & Happy

After something like “Shuuketsu no Sono e”, it’s pretty much random to hear the lone B-side.  I still don’t find its appeal here since Megumi’s vocals are a bit more nasally and the song just feels like cheap cuteness.  Sorry, but I’m not a fan.

4. A Happy Life

So I guess sticking close by was the A-side that (sort of started the era).  A Happy Life follows the same direction “Lucky & Happy” did by being cute, but at least it was tolerable to listen to.  It might’ve jsut been the happy-go-lucky mood and better chosen instruments.  Even Megumi’s vocals aren’t too bad. 

5. Ame no Inu

Finally getting into some new tracks, Ame no Inu is once again fitting into the cute category, but this song was actually nice to listen to because it was acoustically done and with some accordion and some piano/percussion.  Megumi’s vocals are a little seiyuu-ish but it oddly fit into this kind of song.

6. Career Girl not Woman

I don’t know why, but this song kind of reminds me of “A Happy Life” but with some synth involved.  I don’t know why but I just don’t enjoy these type of songs from Megumi because her voice is more than likely going to be excrutiatingly high and seiyuu-like and that’s basically what killed it for me.

7. Ao Shashin

I just don’t know why she’d just stuff her cute songs altogether…I thought Ao Shashin was going to be different because of the unsettling open, but then it sadly becomes a pop song with some marimba and piano.  It’s a smidge better than previous cute pop songs, but it’s still just a little under the clouds for me.

8. Sunadokei

FINALLY!  Getting out of the sickening cute songs is a blessing because Sunadokei (while old) begins the epic animu songs and I think it was good for this song to begin because on the single, I was starting to forget the song altogether.  While yes, I know that from here on it’s gonna be the same problems but Sunadokei isn’t all that bad.

9. Plenty of grit

I don’t think my feelings for Plenty of grit will change around much because it’s just that good of an animu song.  A whole lot more synths than “Sunadokei”, Plenty of grit keeps things moving nicely and of course hearing Megumi in a lower pitch is amazing.  Since it is part of a double A-side this was one half of epic.

10. Front breaking

I’m starting to wonder who put the tracklist together because they really failed on trying to split songs up across the album which is the same problem I had listening through the era.  Front breaking might as well be a combination of “Sunadokei”, “Revolution”, and “Plenty of Grit”, it’s just that mundane to listen to made even worse on the album.

11. http://www.co.jp ~Ballad Version~

Yeah, the original is found on her last album “Plain” and on here it’s gained a ballad version.  I wonder if the original was basically energy and all that.  I do enjoy that it’s an actual ballad and not just something boring.  Of course a strings and piano ballad, http://www.co.jp is done quite nicely even if the title is pretty bizarre to look at.

12. JUST BEGUN

So after a ballad, we kind of get into one more cute track from Megumi, but it’s also a mid-tempo ballad which isn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be.  Add some woodwinds and the song feels full and sounds kind of like an ending song to the album…It’s nice, but nothing too special.

13. Revolution

Part of Megumi’s best single of the era, Revolution was so much hard-hitting than the A-side and yet it sounded almost epic in execution.  Even for being a secondary A-side, I much preferred this, but did it need to end the album this way?  I just enjoyed this so much hahaha

Tracks Recommended

  • Revolution
  • Plenty of grit
  • Ame no Inu
  • Shuuketsu no Sono e
  • Sunadokei

Song of Avoidance

  • Career Girl not Woman

I don’t know why but I’m not feeling Megumi’s album.  It could be that the fact every song released in the era made the album’s cut was a little annoying to see and even then the songs were either cute pop songs or energetic animu songs (with a few exceptions) otherwise the flow was way slashed in half for me and I didn’t feel for a lot of the songs…

 

Megumi Hayashibara – Shuuketsu no Sono e July 22, 2010

Filed under: Megumi Hayashibara — solarblade @ 3:15 am

Track Listing

  1. Shuuketsu no Sono e
  2. Shuuketsu no Sone e ~AYANAMI ver.~
  3. Shuuketsu no Sono e (Off Vocal Version)
  4. Shuuketsu no Sono e ~AYANAMI ver.~ (Off Vocal Version)

1. Shuuketsu no Sono e

It’s interesting when you begin the song with some chanting before getting into a anime-ish song.  It actually sounds different from her past two singles to make it stand out and the music sounds like something from the 90’s and I liked that throwback quite a lot.  It’ll take a bit of time to decide if this is better than “Plenty of grit” but I think it just might be.

2. Shuuketsu no Sono e ~AYANAMI ver.~

So if people remember, Megumi Hayashibara is a seiyuu and one of her more famous roles was voicing AYANAMI in the famous anime “Evangelion”.  Returning to her speaking role/singing, the other version of Shuuketsu no Sono e tones the energy down immensely and leaves the synths, piano, and the beats.  It’s a bit different for a character version of an A-side, but I think it did its job and I like Megumi’s light, almost whispering vocals.

 

 

Ending off the “CHOICE” era, Shuuketsu no Sono e might be a little less better than “Plenty of grit/Revolution in the way that the AYANAMI ver. of the song wasn’t too important to remember, but the main song is definitely better sounding and clear cut.  Good single overall.

 

Megumi Hayashibara – Front breaking/Sunadokei

Filed under: Megumi Hayashibara — solarblade @ 2:54 am

Track Listing

  1. Front breaking
  2. Sunadokei
  3. Front breaking (off vocal ver.)
  4. Sunadokei (off vocal ver.)

1. Front breaking

So I guess Megumi is sticking to her anime sound a bit longer.  Front breaking is a bit like her last single because of the arrangement, but I like the fact there’s more synths involved and Megumi’s vocals are a bit tighter and together.  It might be a little less serious than her last single, but it’s still sounds good altogether and the violin solo in the song was pretty cool too.

2. Sunadokei

I’m not sure why this single is trying to replicate “Plenty of grit/Revolution” to a T, but I’m getting these odd deja vu moments from the single.  Once again it’s a bit lighter than its sister A-side.  I don’t know, it’s alright but I’m starting to forget how the song goes after time passes.

 

 

While I do thing “Plenty of grit/Revolution” was pretty awesome, I thought Front breaking/Sunadokei (funny ass cover…Megumi punching her last single…OH YOUUUU) was a bit sameish but less likened this time around.  I guess she’s good when she puts effort, but it seems like a replication act.  Meh…

 

Megumi Hayashibara – Plenty of grit/Revolution

Filed under: Megumi Hayashibara — solarblade @ 2:23 am

Track Listing

  1. Plenty of grit
  2. Revolution
  3. Plenty of grit (Off Vocal Version)
  4. Revolution (Off Vocal Version)

1. Plenty of grit

What’s this?  This isn’t the Megumi that I heard on her last A-side.  Plenty of grit tosses the acoustic pop/rock fun stuff for a more anime-ish sound (which she is mostly known for anyway).  Plenty of grit features a lot of synths and guitars and deeper vocals from Megumi and in someways, I would’ve thought this was a GUNDAM song.  It’s a change of pace and I ended up liking this a lot.

2. Revolution

As for the other A-side, Revolution begins with some sparkling sounds but it’s just like its sister, “Plenty of grit” but even more like a GUNDAM sound and even more powerful sounding.  The chorus is a little weaker, but I love the arrangement.  It’s basically just as good as the primary A-side

 

 

Wow, Megumi did a 180 between “A Happy Life” and this single.  I love the fact she’s getting back into her anime-stuff and with Plenty of grit/Revolution, she hit a good nail since both songs sound quite awesome.  *RECOMMENDED*

 

Megumi Hayashibara – A Happy Life

Filed under: Megumi Hayashibara — solarblade @ 1:44 am

Track Listing

  1. A Happy Life
  2. Lucky & Happy
  3. A Happy Life (Off Vocal Version)
  4. Lucky & Happy (Off Vocal Version)

1. A Happy Life

Guessing from the title, I kind of knew this song was going to be a feel-good song and with the whole arrangement, I was definitely behind the feel of it.  Now Megumi’s vocals have always been hit or miss (partly because of her seiyuu status).  It kind of shows itself a bit here, but it’s not caked on too much, but maybe trying to be a little cuter would’ve worked maybe?  I don’t know, but this song is an interesting happy song.

2. Lucky & Happy

I kind of thought the B-side of the single was going to be just as peppy and in some cases it is, but the instrumentation is a little bit lighter than “A Happy Life”.  The song also is a tad slower as well, but I don’t think this song really missed a step…until the chorus where it’s like the chorus is just a little off for me.  Cute yes, but did we need to hear it like that?

 

 

While A Happy Life is a part of the “CHOICE” era, it was released two months prior to “Plain” (album before “CHOICE”) .  Also this single was released in 2007, so you know how stretched out this era has been.  Both songs capture cute in a nice way and Megumi wasn’t trying to hard to be immensingly cute, but Lucky & Happy kind of failed that way lol.