Kurayami Monogatari

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Meisa Kuroki – UNLOCKED February 16, 2012

Filed under: Meisa Kuroki — solarblade @ 12:32 am

Track Listing

  1. Hit the Road
  2. Shake it Off
  3. Wired Life
  4. One More Drama
  5. Take Me Away
  6. Flash Light
  7. Woman’s Worth
  8. Breeze Out
  9. LAST CODE
  10. Happy to be ME
  11. PARADE
  12. S.O.S -Watashi Sagasanai de Kudasai-
  13. UPGRADE U!
  14. Aimai de Zeitaku na Yokubou

1. Hit the Road

Kicking the album off, Hit the Road is actually a nice and light song to introduce us to the album.  I mean I hear piano and strings (mixed with synths) and it kind of makes this light but ethereal kind of feeling.  Not like “Wired Life” since it’s brighter but this is still a nice first song and while I would’ve liked a little more oomph to it…this is nice.

2. Shake it Off

To me the album quickly moves forward with Shake it Off which kind of reminds me of “Are ya ready?” without the pounding beats.  That being said it has this rather edgy sound and kind of has this cool groove.  The thing that bother me is the high-pitched buzz that floats in the song…it kind of hurts my ears but that’s a small nitpick.  I still think it’s rather catchy and has a bit of attitude and spaz to make me tap my toes along with it…Different but cool!

3. Wired Life

Which brings us to our second A-side released for the era and Wired Life is just all kinds of awesomeness.  Also having that different kind of atmosphere from her norm, I just found myself lulled by the song’s ethereal verses to the powerful chorus (well powerful in Meisa’s sense).  There’s something magical about this song and she pulled it off epicly…definitely one of my favorite Meisa songs…if not my top favorite.

4. One More Drama

Before “Wired Life” was announced, One More Drama was the song to go to as well and still is (even though the last track is better).  One More Drama had the beats down and the sexual drive down pat and it sounds really epic since we didn’t expect this from her at the time.  Plus I love the acoustic melody for some reason, even though it’s so simple XD.  Yeah, this isn’t bad at all and it close behind…like the tracklist LOL.

5. Take Me Away

I have to say that I really liked this track as well, which is surprising because I can’t recollect any slow song that I’ve fully enjoyed from Meisa since her debut.  The problem is that she does rely a bit on auto-tune but it’s not as bad as some other songs but it just be nice to hear her naturally on songs like this.  Still, this is nice and she doesn’t go overboard.  Sweet tune!

6. Flash Light

Adding a more solid beat and some synthed up strings and light shimasen, we get Flash Light which is a little weird coming after “Take Me Away” since they both have a similar light style going on.  It’s a little weird but I get “MAGAZINE” vibes from this song so it could’ve been an older song or not XD.  It’s an alright song but it didn’t leave a solid impression on me.

7. Woman’s Worth

Since the single’s review, I’ve really started to fall for Woman’s Worth even though I still kind of call of a hot mess of a song.  There’s just a lot of different things going on.  I mea it doesn’t surpass the previous two A-sides but it’s up there with them since it’s groovy and just fun to listen to.  Problem might this it’s gritty and Meisa kind of sounds stressed singing the song…personally I got used to that so I enjoyed the song fully…not as much as “Wired Life” or “One More Drama” but still pretty good.

8. Breeze Out

Unlike it’s sister A-side “Woman’s Worth”, I’ve kind of started to wane on this song.  I’m not sure why I’m not enjoying it as much as I did when it came out on the single but this song doesn’t stand out to me as much.  I still think it shares a little bit with “One More Drama” but with a lot more faults.  I think those high notes were bad and the melody doesn’t stick as well as the other A-sides it did…yeah it’s definitely the weakest of the four.

9. LAST CODE

Getting into 4 new songs, we start with LAST CODE (or as Meisa says, ~last cozze~…what?).  As it’s another slow song in the bunch, LAST CODE is kind of interesting with the shuffling beat and the fluctuation of synths involved.  It lacks something for me and comes off as a tad boring for me but I know people that love R&B ballads will find something good in this.

10. Happy to be ME

In my opinion, I felt the album was starting move into a rather dull state with this song which sounds like “Take Me Away” with the whole bright and ethereal glow of the song, this song just made me felt like it was hitting a bit laziness on the producer’s part.  Maybe it’s a little more R&B, but I still felt gipped listening to this.

11. PARADE

After that area of rather forgettable stuff, PARADE brings us back into some upbeat stuff.  To be honest, it’s also just as busy as “Breeze Out” and has a similar darker theme to it.  I have to admit that hearing her in the song has kind of left rolling my eyes because it sounds like she singing sharp and doesn’t sound right.  The arrangement had promise, but didn’t really go anywhere really…not a fan of this one.

12. S.O.S -Watashi Sagasanai de Kudasai-

I don’t get S.O.S because it sounds so unusual on the album with it’s beach-pop kind of feel to it like it was made as a summer song.  Once again Meisa and her high notes are a big negative in the track.  I just don’t know about this song because it’s so not her but at the same time it’s different.  If she had sung better for this one I might’ve liked it a lot…but because of the pitchy high notes it doesn’t work for me…At least it caught my attention.

13. UPGRAGE U!

As the only B-side to make the cut it’s understandable because it was initially an A-side before becoming just a B-side prior to the release.  Now I can see why S.O.S came before since it was pop/rock and UPGRADE U! began with guitar before getting in the synths and all that.  I actually do think it’s A-side worthy and a lot better of a decision than choosing the other B-side, “Go Ahead”.  Though finding it towards the end is kind of odd…but still a good song!

14. Aimai de Zeitaku na Yokubou

Closing the album out, I wasn’t surprised she was going to close the album with a ballad but it’s Meisa using natural vocals alongside a piano melody!  It does grow with light beats, strings and backup vocals to help out after a while.  It’s a pleasant song no doubt, but I can’t remember the melody and while Meisa sung better than she has before…it’s still kind of weak to me in places…fitting ending though!

Tracks Recommended

  • Wired Life
  • One More Drama
  • Take Me Away
  • Shake it Off
  • Woman’s Worth

Song of Avoidance

  • PARADE

At first I loved the first half of UNLOCKED there was really nothing wrong with it really…that is until the second half seemed to half-ass everything and put Meisa on a weird decision-course on singing and music.  It’s like black and white on this album for me.  Though more good since there was UPGRADE U! on the good side.  I mean maybe if she got different producers some songs wouldn’t have been half-assed and got her to hit crazy ass high notes that she CAN’T PULL OFF.  Right now, I think this album is a little better than “MAGAZINE” but it’s solely on the fact that 3 of the 4 A-sides were magnificent songs in their own right…so yeah…Meh…

 

Meisa Kuroki – Woman’s Worth/Breeze Out December 11, 2011

Filed under: Meisa Kuroki — solarblade @ 9:20 am

Track Listing

  1. Woman’s Worth
  2. Breeze Out
  3. Wired Life (11llmnt/Illuminati/Remix)
  4. Woman’s Worth (Instrumental)
  5. Breeze Out (Instrumental)

1. Woman’s Worth

I think it’s just personal preference, but I really enjoyed Meisa’s previous A-sides a lot and I was hoping she’d score three but Woman’s Worth is a little under them two.  I really get “MAGAZINE” vibes from the song for some reason since it’s a lot of simple beats and a mixture of R&B/Dance.  The thing that probably makes me not like this as much as “One More Drama” and “Wired Life” is that it doesn’t have a punch and kind of rails on this line that doesn’t change very well.  It’s alright, but it’s the weakest of the A-sides yet.

2. Breeze Out

At least the second A-side makes up for the rather ehhh primary one.  While I can still see the “MAGAZINE” touch on this one, I’m also getting “One More Drama” with the beats and fact that Meisa’s vocals are until some filters.  I will say that her rapping and the high notes she tries to hit are absurd and kind of pitchy but this has a good flow to it. 

3. Wired Life (11llmnt/Illuminati/Remix)

So confused about the remix for Wired Life.  The video game beeps sounds like they were going to take the song into into a faster pace but the song is at the same pace as the original and it really bothers me and kind of confuses me.  The bridge and chorus were the best parts of the arrangement for sure since the beeps cut out.  Though it gets really unusual after the first half of the chorus where the arrangement shifts into this dubstep sound that just kills me.  Very oddball remix of a great song to be honest and the dubstep doesn’t work for me.

 

 

Meisa’s 3rd single is probably my least favorite of them since both A-sides aren’t totally amazing tracks like the previous two but I guess they are at A-side status.  I do prefer Breeze Out more than Woman’s Worth but it’s kind of funny.  The Wired Life remix is pretty wacky and it might have a few fans but those dubstep breakdowns kill the remix.

 

Meisa Kuroki – Wired Life September 3, 2011

Filed under: Meisa Kuroki — solarblade @ 7:16 am

Track Listing

  1. Wired Life
  2. UPGRADE U!
  3. One More Drama -PINGPONG REMIX remixed by dee.c-
  4. Wired Life (No Escape Remix) feat. Rin Okumura (Anime CD edition only)
  5. Wired Life (Anime Size Version)
  6. Wired Life (Instrumental)

1. Wired Life

You know it had to take a lot to replace 2PM’s “Take off” from Ao no Exorcist and I’m holy shit in love with this song.  I love the mysterious air about the song especially in the verses mixed with the cryptic ~cut the rope, cu-cut the rope~ lines.  Granted, Meisa is still kind of vocally shaky especially in the chorus…but the Nao’ymt did a great job hiding it with the verses and the second vocal track that whispers.  Still the chorus is pretty damn catchy and has a lot of punch to it…damn another awesome A-side under her belt.

2. UPGRAGE U!

The only actual B-side comes in UPGRADE U! which does take up a lighter and happier route which is cool and the synths and beat is still pretty much there.  Meisa also decided to keep the filters along as well but it seems to rely on it more which is evident quite shockingly.  It’s a step up after some of the previous B-sides she’s done in her career but there’s a giant gap between where I like this and where I stand with “Wired Life”.

3. One More Drama -PINGPONG REMIX remixed by dee.c-

Where have I seen dee.c before?!? Oh yeah!  It’s the same remixer that did “LOL!”.  Before dee.c’s remix of that song didn’t really change much to the song but added little quirks here and there.  This time it feels like there was a lot that changed around (mainly around the lack of a heavy beat like the original and I feel like it has the same mysterious mood about it like “Wired Life”).  However, the missing beats really throw me for a loop and I’m left wondering why it feels so empty for a remix.  It’s alright, but if you love the original I should warn you this isn’t like the case with “LOL!”.

4. Wired Life (No Escape Remix) feat. Rin Okumura

The previous two songs were found on the normal editions of the single while this remix is found only on the anime edition.  What I learned was that Rin is one of the characters from Ao no Exorcist and he kind of joins Meisa in the song but says the lyrics unlike Meisa who’s still singing it.  It’s an unusual idea on paper and still in sound.  As for the remixed part…there a lot of jerkiness to it but I did love the piano here!  It is pretty much a strange remix, but I’m sure people that love Rin will love this fangasm 😄

Damn, after “MAGAZINE”, Meisa has been really getting awesome A-sides and Wired Life is tied up there with the songs I LOVE from her which is a great side to come.  UPGRADE U! is brighter of course and is so much better than “Go Ahead” off the last single so she scored well on that too.  The remixes were OK at best, but nothing I’d keep coming to.  One More Drama was nice but the stuff that made it amazing were gone and we were left with a half-assed remix while Wired Life’s was kind of messy and Rin kept pulling me out of concentration.  I’d say go for the main songs and not the remixes here.

 

Meisa Kuroki – One More Drama April 18, 2011

Filed under: Meisa Kuroki — solarblade @ 5:58 am

Track Listing

  1. One More Drama
  2. Go Ahead
  3. LOL! ARP REMIX remixed by dee.c
  4. One More Drama (instrumental)

1. One More Drama

Oh gawd, latin guitar starting our next song is just what I needed.  I have a love/hate towards Meisa because in the last era, she has had stronger songs through her mini-albums than on her singles and now with One More Drama she finally crossed it and created a powerbomb!  I know Meisa isn’t one for vocals, but the music is just powerful and full of spunk and sexy boom-boom that it makes me happy  ^_^.  I have to say, she surprised me with this song and it’s one of the best A-side I’ve heard so far this year.

2. Go Ahead

Calming down for the B-side (but only just slightly), Go Ahead is another beat-fronted track from Meisa, but instead of being feisty and sexy, the song to me is going for more of a ballad, but with a clear twist.  Meisa does a bit of a better job on her vocals and her deeper tone sounds nice to me for some reason.  It would’ve been a great “MAGAZINE” song, but I’m just kind of OK with this song.

3. LOL! ARP REMIX remixed by dee.c

Closing the single is a remix of her last A-side, LOL!.  It doesn’t feel too much different than the original, but there’s a new opening and some new synths found sprinkled throughout.  I’m still not a very big fan of the song, so this kind of has the same thoughts when I reviewed it. 

I was surprised that Meisa quickly began her new era so soon after “MAGAZINE”.  One More Drama actually is her best A-side yet with heavy beats, a latin undertone, and a classy PV to go with.  Go Ahead is not that bad of a B-side and is one of her better ones since her debut.  The LOL! remix didn’t come off to me as anything jaw-dropping nor does it totally change things radically…but whatever it’s there…good single overall.

 

Meisa Kuroki – MAGAZINE January 26, 2011

Filed under: Meisa Kuroki — solarblade @ 12:38 am

Track Listing

  1. Intro -MAGAZINE-
  2. LOL!
  3. SWITCH⇔
  4. BYE BYE MY FRIEND
  5. CELEBRATE
  6. SHOCK -Unmei-
  7. Say Good Night☆
  8. As I Am
  9. Why??
  10. Loneliness
  11. LOVEHOLIC
  12. Wasted
  13. 5 -FIVE-
  14. Somewhere…

1. Intro -MAGAZINE-

For being just a indroduction to the album, I was surprised this sounded pretty awesome and quite fresh coming from Meisa.  I mean yea she does only adlib, but the music really stood out with the synths and strings and such.  I actually kind of hoped the album will be as jaw-dropping as the intro was.

2. LOL!

Then we finally start the album with the third A-side released in the era.  I still don’t know what to really think about when it comes to this song since it’s kind of blah from Meisa since she’s not really singing but more like talking through a good portion.  I will admit the drastic change of style is different, but I think the best thing that came from the song was the chorus and that’s about it…

3. SWITCH⇔

After that slight misstep, our first new song off the album actually cleaned up quite nicely after “LOL!”.  Of course there’s still strong amounts of synths present, but I feel Meisa’s performance was a whole lot more better.  While it’s difficult to imagine a PV for it, I can only wonder what’d be like.

4. BYE BYE MY FRIEND

Ok, I get a huge 80’s vibe from our next song, BYE BYE MY FRIEND for some reason, but I think it’s from the arrangement and the way Meisa tackled the song.  While it’s true her vocals are far from being amazing, she actually put a lot of emotion in this one and I have to say it’s one of my favorites from the album right now. 

5. CELEBRATE

To me, CELEBRATE kind of started out like it was going to be like a ballad, but the synth and beats quickly replace it and turns the song into something I would’ve expected to have heard on “hellcat”.  I mean it’s not really much of a celebratory kind of song, but it’s catchy and the beat is solid and nice to listen to.

6. SHOCK -Unmei-

Wow I didn’t think they would go ahead and put SHOCK -Unmei- on the album since it’s so old and such being a 2009 single.  I will admit that in time this song has got better with me with the classical samples and Meisa’s whole ~are you ready for the SHOCK!~ lines in the song.  I still think arrangement-wise, it’s still messy and kind of all over the place, but the song has caught on with me betweem the single release and album.

7. Say Good Night☆

After that hectic track, I was surprised to see Meisa go for more of a mid-tempo kind of track with our next new song.  I really do like the fact that she slowed down and tried for a more nicer tone for her vocals which is great.  I know it’s a pretty strong stretch but this song reminds me of Kuu’s “No Way” but slightly more uptempo.  It’s alright, but it made a weird transition from “SHOCK -Unmei-“.

8. As I Am

Though it’s kind of funny we get back into the more danceish style we’re so used to from Meisa and As I Am kind of takes a similar note from “CELEBRATE”, but I think she ended up doing better with this one because I love the synths found here and the more relaxed nature from Meisa’s vocals.  I think it’s another one of the album’s bests!

9. Why??

Slowing down again for more of a ballad-like sound, Meisa tries to show off her higher pitched vocals in this song and fails quite amazingly in doing so as they’re so thin and offkey that it just ruined the song right from the start.  The verses are alright though I will say, but jeeze that chorus is a huge mess and left a bitter taste in my mouth.

10. Loneliness

For a song to be called Loneliness, I was expecting another ballad type out of this, but I was sorely wrong as this is a return to the more darker dance songs that Meisa pulls off well.  I like how the hooks in the song just stick out and Meisa’s sleek vocals worked the song all over.  It might not be the most amazing song on the album, but it’s darn catchy.

11. LOVEHOLIC

I’m not sure what to make of LOVEHOLIC just quite yet since the arrangement is so much more fitting for Kuu or even BoA to be honest.  The kind of eerie synth/electro sound is quite intriguing for me, but there’s something I think is missing for the song.  Iono, it just feels like there could’ve been more of a boom for it!

12. Wasted

Of all the B-sides and mini-album songs she could’ve chosen, I was so disappointed she had picked Wasted to make the cut over them.  It doesn’t really fit the album much since it’s more pop/rock (AKA: MiChi-like) than all of the other songs so I have no reason why she chose such a meh song.  I did like she brought energy to the song, but it’s just not her if you know what I mean.

13. 5 -FIVE-

Being the middle single released in the era, 5 -FIVE- is still actually the best A-side of the three released because it’s different from what she did previous and has a good amount of hooks and style to it that I couldn’t but love it.  Yes, it’s still slightly all over the place in the arrangement but I really think she did it right this time around.

14. Somewhere…

Closing Meisa’s first full-length album, I wasn’t surprised that Somewhere… was going to be another ballad, but it’s the closest thing to than the others.  The song actually feels more R&B-like as well and I like the relaxing arrangement of acoustic guitar and light synths.  Her voice actually sounds really nice as well…strange she saved this for last because I kind of enjoyed it after the immense amount of dance music.

Tracks Recommended

  • As I Am
  • BYE BYE MY FRIEND
  • Somewhere…
  • Loneliness
  • 5 -FIVE-

Song of Avoidance

  • Why??

So what did I think of Meisa’s first full album?  I actually think it’s quite good for Meisa, but once again there’s times where she lazied up with the arrangements, but the singles pulled that thought out since all three A-sides were wacky tunes.  I honestly would’ve thought she would’ve benefitted from adding the mini-album songs she promoted to add more oomph to the album but I guess not.  It’s a pretty solid release, not amazing, but not terrible either.

 

Meisa Kuroki – LOL! October 7, 2010

Filed under: Meisa Kuroki — solarblade @ 5:02 am

Track Listing

  1. LOL!
  2. Be Like That
  3. LOL! (instrumental)
  4. Be Like That (instrumental)

1. LOL!

Why does it seem like that whenever Meisa releases a single, it kind of turns out kind of disappointing whereas when she releases a mini-album there’s something amazing?  LOL! is kind of alright when Meisa is singing, but her pseudo-rapping skills lack interest and it kind of ruins the song.  Add the fact that the chorus sounds really familiar doesn’t help at all!  I don’t know but I think I prefer “5 -FIVE-” over this song.

2. Be Like That

At least the B-side of the single sort of makes up for the disappointing A-side.  Now I do think the arrangement is a little bare bones and the direction doesn’t exactly go anywhere, but vocally it’s better.  I’m not sure why, but the chorus isn’t the most expressive either and it just flies by my head, but at least it’s a song I wouldn’t pass up.

Could you imagine an album with Meisa?  I don’t think I’ve fully enjoyed a Meisa A-side ever since she debuted.  I mean there’s just no reason why they can’t sprinkle magic that they did with the two mini-albums for her singles because LOL! is just meh to me.

 

Meisa Kuroki – 5-FIVE- June 3, 2010

Filed under: Meisa Kuroki — solarblade @ 1:50 am

Track Listing

  1. 5-FIVE-
  2. The Only One
  3. So Smooth
  4. 5-FIVE- (instrumental)

1. 5-FIVE-

So, Meisa starts off her second single off with 5-FIVE- which right now is probably the happiest song she’s released so far as in the promotional songs she’s put out.  The groove of the song is very dancey and there’s a good amount of synths available.  The arrangement does come off as a little messy, but not at the point where it’s “SHOCK -Unmei-” bad.  I thought it was catchy and the counting in the chorus was cool. 

2. The Only One

The first B-side definitely has that “ATTITUDE” sound going for it, but at least it shows off Meisa’s vocals in a softer light unlike all those other times where she’s yelling her vocals out.  While I’m confused where the song is trying to pull off…like is it supposed to be sexy or just sympathetic?  Little bit weird, but it’s good.

3. So Smooth

This really isn’t a smooth track once you really get down to the nitty gritty.  I do like how So Smooth has a rather 80’s synth sound going for it and while Meisa’s vocals are under a little bit of vocal manipulation and her English has still not improved since “Are ya ready”.  There’s something about the hook that caught me and it ended up being the best one off the single.  She even sounded on pitch which is good for once.

 

 

Meisa’s 2nd single definitely tops her first single by a long shot.  All three songs are pretty good for her.  Problem is is that she’s starting to suffer from same style syndrome, which basically killed “ATTITUDE”.  It might be because of who she worked with, but next time try something that isn’t so similar!