Kurayami Monogatari

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MiChi – EYES WIDE OPEN July 7, 2014

Filed under: MiChi — solarblade @ 10:38 pm

eyeswideopen

Track Listing

  1. MadNesS vol. 4
  2. STARTING OVER (album mix)
  3. Saturday Night
  4. Lighten the Fxxk Up
  5. Nearly Maybe…
  6. INdependeNt GiRL?
  7. Just because
  8. HEARTBEAT (album mix)
  9. still missing you
  10. Hello
  11. Journey (feat. Jake Shimabukuro)
  12. YOUR Life

1. MadNesS vol. 4

Like all her previous albums, MiChi opens up with her 4th MadNesS!  As the intro to the album, it’s quite funky and has MiChi saying the title of the album with extra lyrics thrown into it.  I actually like how this becomes a song that’s more familiar to her fans by adding dance beats and the like.  It’s an interesting tune and I thought it kicked things off with something that would’ve been great with more lyrical content.

2. STARTING OVER (album mix)

Then we move into STARTING OVER and funny enough the digital singles get album mixes while the actual single that was released doesn’t.  After the intro, I was expecting the album to continue with something upbeat but STARTING OVER starts with acoustic guitar!  It sounds like a song I would’ve expected from “UP TO YOU” but it’s a pleasant song that mixes her lighter side with a little of that dance side.  Honestly though, this sounds like it would’ve made a great closer to this album so having it as the 2nd track is a little odd to me.

3. Saturday Night

Which is made more apparant when Saturday Night comes up because it would’ve perfectly made sense coming after the opening.  As the secondary A-side of the only single released for this era, Saturday Night was just a pretty great dance track from MiChi and shows this kind of dance/disco jive that really caught me by surprise.  It’s just great to hear MiChi sing in English and she brings a lot of spunk and energy with this track.  What an awesome tune!

4. Lighten the Fxxk Up

She always seems to have a song with Fxxk somewhere on her albums xD.  Unlike the others where it’s an energetic dance track, Lighten the Fxxk Up is a bit lighter and we hear MiChi cuss again which is always a fun trip to hear XD.  There’s some easy chords to fall in love with this song and it was quite perfect for me.  Actually had me humming and singing along with.  This was a pretty fun song and one of my early favorites!

5. Nearly Maybe…

After the upbeat songs, we fall back to a simpler tune with Nearly Maybe…  What I meant is that the tune features a lot more acoustic guitar like “STARTING OVER” but doesn’t go much further beyond light percussion and light electric guitar.  As lighthearted as the song was, it didn’t strike any remote chords with me.  I mean it’s not terrible and feels unplugged which is mostly nice but after the previous songs this kind of halted the album a bit.

6. INdependeNt GiRL?

Moving to the primary A-side, we got sticky keys MiChi titles back and INdependeNt GiRL? took her through a different kind of sound by having a more funk-ladened sound.  Almost soulful but MiChi doesn’t have that kind of belting voice to throw out here.  It’s a pleasant track overall, though it gets passed by other songs this album has to offer.

7. Just because

A guitar line opens our next tune, Just because.  This to me feels like it’s going back to “UP TO YOU” as well by kind of mixing styles and I like that about this tune.  It does show off MiChi’s vocals a bit more and I liked that about this song.  It’s a familiar song to fans and I doubt there’d be much of anything to deem this song bad.  It’s catchy ^^

8. HEARTBEAT (album mix)

As the other digital single, HEARTBEAT has more of a “THERAPY” feel which is also a sound I enjoyed from her and HEARTBEAT is another song that just won me over easily.  There’s something deep about this song which is nice to hear too!  I couldn’t tell you the differences between the album mixes to the original versions.  Was there any?!?  Still this is a pretty great song and I’m happy it made the album.

9. still missing you

Then we come to another halt for our ballad, still missing you.  It begins with a simple piano melody.  MiChi sounds pleasant enough and the song warms up to be a little more active by adding percussion and guitar (sounds like “Nearly Maybe…”).  After a while, MiChi starts to feel almost monotone to me especially near the end…could just be me though…mileage varies on this one.

10. Hello

It seems this album is split between the dance/pop songs and acoustic tracks.  Hello tries to kind of work with both of them to get this kind of mid-tempo pop tune with a punchy beat.  It’s an odd feel, but to Americans this might sounds familiar to something like Jessica Simpson or the like.  It’s OK at best but not near the top for me.

11. Journey (feat. Jake Shimabukuro)

At first I was surprised that the song has a dance/pop feel but almost Hawaiian-based.  Turns out, Jake Shimabukuro is the one that plays the ukelele in this track which is a nice touch for MiChi to include.  As for the song, it’s bouncy and surprisingly pop (almost that 2000s American pop).  I found it quirky and lighthearted and one of the better songs on the album!

12. YOUR Life

The final track on the album, YOUR Life is another of the bright songs from MiChi and just closes the album on a happy note which is a great surprise (still think “STARTING OVER” would’ve made a better closing though).  It’s just a pretty catchy song for the most part and MiChi sounds energetic too…ahhh so good!

Tracks Recommended

  • Saturday Night
  • Lighten the Fxxk Up
  • HEARTBEAT (album mix)
  • YOUR Life
  • Journey (feat. Jake Shimabukuro)

Song of Avoidance

  • still missing you

After how much “THERAPY” felt like a more serious release from MiChi, we got EYES WIDE OPEN and the whole thing overall felt like it was just MiChi letting down her hair and being bright and happy and each song did feel like that.  I had heard this album wasn’t that great, but after hearing it…I enjoyed this more than BOTH of her previous albums.  The upbeat dance tracks were the best of course but it’s still worth a listen!~

 

MiChi – INdepeneNt GiRL?/Saturday Night September 10, 2013

Filed under: MiChi — solarblade @ 7:13 am

independentgirl

Track Listing

  1. INdependeNt GiRL?
  2. Saturday Night
  3. INdependeNT GiRL? -remix-
  4. Saturday Night -extended mix-

1. INdependeNt GiRL?

It’s been quite while since we’ve gotten from MiChi (minus the digital singles).  I think the space between this and “THERAPY” has given some time for MiChi to have a little more fun with her music.  INdependeNt GiRL? (back to that stickycaps huh?) is actually a quirky pop song from her and I found this sort of Western but also quite catchy to listen to.  I also love the brass in the song too…like I said, the song has a pretty quirky feel and the chorus is nice!

2. Saturday Night

Though I think the star of the single belongs to the secondary A-side, Saturday Night because it has MiChi’s style alongside a slight disco feel.  I just find myself dancing and having fun with this pretty flirty song.  Plus this song is entirely in English so I’m really having a great time with this song!

3. INdependeNt GiRL? -remix-

For the first time in a long time, this single does not include a cover song.  Instead we get a remix and an extended take of both A-sides.  First is the remix for INdependeNt GiRL? and honestly, it felt like it just took out some of the backbone for the song and laid a bit more brass to make up for it.  I don’t know, but the remix didn’t really do anything to boost that song any.

4. Saturday Night -extended mix-

Adding a minute to the song, the extended mix to Saturday Night has a different introduction taking the memorable line ~I’m on a Thursday, Friday, Saturday night~ and builds upon before MiChi kicks in with the verses.  Luckily, the song goes back to is dance/disco vibes which is A.O.K. for me.  Besides the new intro, there’s not really much else to be said since I’ve already talked about that.

 

 

Only being over a year since “THERAPY”, MiChi has returned with a physical single release and it seems like she’s sticking to more of her carefree nature with both songs.  Granted, I’m a little surprised that this is the only single she’ll release before her 3rd major album, “EYES WIDE OPEN” simply because “THERAPY” had SO MANY singles.  I will say I love Saturday Night so much more than INdependeNt GiRL? because I’m just in love with the lyrics!  Though the other A-side isn’t bad either!  The remix wasn’t all that great and the extension just added more awesomeness XD…so not bad!

 

MiChi – THERAPY March 27, 2012

Filed under: MiChi — solarblade @ 6:12 pm

Track Listing

  1. MadNesS Vol.3
  2. TOKYO NIGHT
  3. LOVE is.
  4. Together again
  5. YEAH YEAH YEAH!!!
  6. Special Someone
  7. WoNdeR WomaN
  8. Light Up
  9. Take It Easy!
  10. Motto.
  11. Find Your Way
  12. THERAPY
  13. ONE

1. MadNesS Vol.3

A common thing to see on a MiChi album, we get the third volume of MadNesS and funny enough it did get a PV lol.  As it’s the introduction for the album, this is pretty cool!  I love the pounding beat before a voice announces the title the song and then becomes this classy electro style.  Even MiChi gets to have some lyrics here…it’s classy and just attitude-full…I’m loving this!

2. TOKYO NIGHT

The first full song we get is MiChi’s 6th A-side (jeeze too many A-sides).  I have to say that I kind of like the song because not only it’s a really good MiChi song, it’s produced by LEO Imai (who is another artist I’ve reviewed).  The sad thing that since it was after a lot of similar sounding A-sides it was really hard to get used to this but TOKYO NIGHT has something that the others don’t which is nice and she sounds great here.  I do think the beat does remind me of “JUMP ON IT” for some reason.  Still not bad but not my favorite of the era.

3. LOVE is.

Moving to the 3rd A-side, LOVE is. was a song that I had problems getting used to but I’m not totally sure why because it has a certain “UP TO YOU” quality that would’ve normally made me feel good since I like songs that come off like “PROMiSE” and the sort.  Add that it has a nice 80’s new wave kind of feel and I feel silly not liking it haha.  In other words its grown on me quite a lot since the single review!

4. Together again

*sigh* A main reason why I wasn’t totally interested in this album was that they chose this song over “All about the Girls” since the latter is a whole lot better (and I honestly consider it the best song MiChi’s ever done!).  Sadly, we ended up with that single’s secondary A-side Together again.  I felt it was the weakest song on that single because while I do like that it’s the first ballad that comes up…but it just doesn’t stand out to me anymore.  Beyond the quick chorus, it just doesn’t pop out…Yeah…WHY IS THERE NO “All about the Girls”!?!?!?!?!

5. YEAH YEAH YEAH!!!

I also found the decision on the B-side chosen for the album to be quite meh since there’s quite a bit of better songs she could’ve chose from.  Sad, why do you have to place YEAH YEAH YEAH!!! after “Together again”?  They sound rather similar to one another with the electric guitar mixed with that synth style.  Like I said on the single review, it’s just very meh after a while and becomes redundant towards the end.  Would’ve loved “JUMP ON IT”, “Perfect World” or even “December”.

6. Special Someone

After all those old songs passing by, it’s nice to finally get to new stuff.  Special Someone goes deeper into MiChi’s guitar-laced pop sound which is a nice change from the previous songs for sure.  I once again have a certain feeling that it was a “UP TO YOU” song because it fits that album to a T.  It’s not bad and she sounds good even though there’s clearly backups behind her. 

7. WoNdeR WomaN

Then we get into the era’s second A-side and god forbid she had to include this on here.  It’s MiChi’s first collaboration (which makes me wonder why isn’t tagged like the single) with the telephones (who are a punk rock band).  A LOT of people despise the song because of the fact that it’s so hard to take in because of the yelling from the lead singer from the telephones.  MiChi’s parts are pretty good though and the arrangement is alive and edgy when compared to the other songs of the era.  If it was a solo version, I could’ve dug the song better but I just ca’t with this one…It ranks with “Together again” as worst A-sides.

8. Light Up

As the next 3 tracks are new, I’m definitely happy to see new stuff.  Calming down after “WoNdeR WomaN”, Light Up takes a more mid-tempo direction and I kind of like the change and it focuses on the synth beats.  It’s a pretty good track though…hmmm I’m not sure why though but yeah it’s a good track lmfao…I’m guessing it’s the synth arrangement tbh.

9. Take It Easy!

I like that she did take it easy (pun lulz) for the next song by giving it a more pop/rock view rather than “Light Up’s” more synth-fronted arrangement.  It does have a certain upbeat feel mixed with a good positive message written through the lyrics (going by all the English here).  I still prefer the previous song though.

10. Motto.

Moving towards the slower and meaningful songs we start off with Motto. which is interesting because it’s mainly devoid of the synths and has this acoustic guitar style.  Though I do like the slide guitar being used here as well.  After the chorus it does grow a bit more with strings being added to the mix as well as some percussion.  I like this little change of sound at this point of the album. 

11. Find Your Way

I find it baffling at how I couldn’t remember how this song went when I got to this review.  5th A-side and all, Find Your Way does remind me of “ONE” with it’s happy message and dance feel in the chorus.  I still think that some of the song reminds me of Katy Perry’s “Firework” but I have no true clear reason why.  It’s a pretty good song though but I still prefer “ONE” a whole lot more than this one.

12. THERAPY

Before the final song we delve into MiChi’s title track and by god was this something out of left field.  Kind of like how “Shibuya de Punch” was to “UP TO YOU”, THERAPY is the oddball song of this album.  You wouldn’t expect MiChi to basically do a very ethereal and out of this world kind of track.  It’s almost creepy/mysterious with its water droplets and buzzing sounds.  It’s just unusual and I’m not sure it has a direction (it does but it feels so zoned out that it doesn’t).  Interesting endeavor for her and I think I can get used to this.

13. ONE

I thought that closing the album with MiChi’s 4th A-side, ONE was a very good decision because it was the best positive message song on the album.  Add in the addicting arrangement which kind of grows from the earlier parts of the album and you get this song!  I have to admit that I wasn’t too thrilled with the weird male chants…but it grew on me and made the song so much better with it included.  Definitely my favorite A-side (well given the situation XD).

Tracks Recommended

  • ONE
  • Light Up
  • LOVE is.
  • MadNesS Vol.3
  • Find Your Way

Song of Avoidance

  • Together again

I wasn’t too thrilled for this album initially because the company decided to not add “All about the Girls” to it (makes me curious why it was left off since it was so damn popular…problems with the Scatman sampling?).  THERAPY isn’t a bad album which is obviously a good thing but besides ONE…there isn’t a song that just ultimately pops out at me like “UP TO YOU” did.  So in a way, this was a sophomore slump (well in her major label days). 

 

MiChi – TOKYO NIGHT February 1, 2012

Filed under: MiChi — solarblade @ 8:24 pm

Track Listing

  1. TOKYO NIGHT
  2. December
  3. Revolution
  4. TOKYO NIGHT (Instrumental)

1. TOKYO NIGHT

Considering the song was produced by none other than LEO Imai, I knew it was going to be different from previous MiChi songs and it sure does sound different but really good.  There’s a lot of synths involved which is cool!  I actually could see LEO performing this too but I have to say that MiChi sounds really good in the song!  Some of the arrangement does remind me of “JUMP ON IT” but this was actually damn good! 

2. December

The B-side of the single puts more focus on MiChi’s rocker side but is more towards a ballad to a mid-tempo than “TOKYO NIGHT’s” more danceable style.  I’ve noticed also that this is actually kind of reserved of a song unlike most B-sides which is random and different.  Though I can say that the interesting thing here is that the song is in English.  It’s a bit too long-winded, but this is a B-side I can dig!

3. Revolution

The cover song on the single is actually from The Veronicas this time and it actually suits her very well!  I kind of like MiChi’s take because it’s so her and she sang the song quite well which is pretty different since her covers in recent times have been alright but nothing spectacular.  I’d say it’s her best one yet!

 

 

This is her 6th single and I’m wondering when that album will appear!  TOKYO NIGHT is definitely her best single since “All about the Girls ~Iijanka Party People~ since all three songs are actually quite good.  TOKYO NIGHT was different and executed strongly and she had a good producer in her hands.  Revolution is probably her best cover yet…such a perfect song that represents her.  December is a bit more relatable but the only fault was that it was a little long-winded.  Still GREAT single!

 

MiChi – Find Your Way November 30, 2011

Filed under: MiChi — solarblade @ 12:34 pm

Track Listing

  1. Find Your Way
  2. Perfect World
  3. Just The Way You Are
  4. Find Your Way (Instrumental)

1. Find Your Way

It’s kind of weird where MiChi is going these days with these A-sides.  I mean “All about the Girls” & “WoNDeR WomaN” were more like her second era but everything after that has had more of a lyrical change in style opting for a positive and hopeful outlook.  Find Your Way is the third of these kind of songs she’s done and I’m kind of getting tired of it.  I mean the peak of this style was her last A-side “ONE”.  That being said I immediately thought of that track when I gave this one a spin.  The good thing I hear is strings/synths together as well.  Though is it me or the bridge to the chorus remind you guys of Katy Perry’s “Firework”?  Yeah, this is unusual but it slightly works because if “ONE” didn’t get released before this, I’m sure I’d be all over this tune! 😄  Might not be her best work, but this is kind of nice and works as the positive message kind of song.

2. Perfect World

Of course MiChi’s B-sides have always been a treat to listen to most of the time and Perfect World is a great example of that being more along the lines of dance music.  It’s weird though since it has this CD skipping kind of sound at the beginning that swiftly moves into this ethereal new wave kind of glow.  I noticed MiChi also took up to a more lighter tone to her voice which is new to my ears and I’m just kind of not used to her being so….fluffy sounding and quote on quote angelic.  It’s an interesting song since the beat gets pushed to the foreground and kind leads everything together while MiChi is more in the background.  To be honest, I wish she wasn’t as unimportant as she was here because some people might take this as a remix which it isn’t.  I’m kind of disappointed here…

3. Just The Way You Are

Of course it isn’t a MiChi single without a cover track.  This time she’s covering a tune that most of us have heard last year and that’s Bruno Mars’ Just The Way You Are.  Of course the original was quite the song and the lyrics were very romantic and just one of those awwwwweeeee kind of tunes about love.  MiChi’s take on it makes me go awwww…but more in the way of how disappointing it was.  I mean she’s a gal of course but hearing her sing a song in the male perspective is just awkward and makes me wanna lulz and question if she’s a lesbian! XD.  Plus, she kind of sounds unusual singing it in the vocal department.  She doesn’t do good covers anymore does she…?

 

 

Oh MiChi, this was just disappointing of a single.  I mean Find Your Way is just a “ONE” clone and despite the fact that it does sound good, I prefer the latter.  Perfect World was an interesting change of sound but c’mon a little more vocals in the song so it doesn’t sound like it’s just a remix.  The cover?  Pass, it’s not really worth it…but she hasn’t had a good one since “Pretty Fly”.  Bleh…

 

MiChi – ONE June 23, 2011

Filed under: MiChi — solarblade @ 1:15 am

Track Listing

  1. ONE
  2. LiFE CLOCK
  3. DON’T DREAM IT’S OVER
  4. YEAH YEAH YEAH!!! (REMIX)

1. ONE

I was kind of surprised at how ONE began with a male ad-libbing before the song turned into more of an electro track ala like most of her previous singles.  I do think it’s a much better song than “LOVE is.” for sure because this really does feel memorable and she sounds quite nice minus the weird guy chanting in places.  It’s a great song with a nice positive message.  Yeah, kind of pretty awesome!

2. LiFE CLOCK

Oh god a baby!  LiFE CLOCK feels quite different from different songs simply because it doesn’t feel like typical MiChi-ness.  It sounds kind of refreshing and nice.  Then again coming after “ONE” this is quite a nice move.  Even cooler is that the second verse and chorus brings more synths to fill the song up.  Ok, it’s a bit like “ONE” with the positive message and stuff, but it’s pretty good but I prefer the A-side.

3. DON’T DREAM IT’S OVER

Of course, it isn’t a MiChi single without a cover track and with this single it’s a Crowded House cover.  DON’T DREAM IT’S OVER isn’t as faithful to the original since MiChi opted for more of an acoustic version of said song.  I’m not really too keen on MiChi’s version because I like the original and of course that’s sung by dudes.  It’s nice and relaxing and is the only without all the synths abound. 

4. YEAH YEAH YEAH!!! (REMIX)

Finally closing the single out, YEAH YEAH YEAH!!! gets remixed for this single.  It seems like it took out a little bit of the original and basically copied and pasted lyrics all over the song to make it feel remixed.  Also, there’s new synths, but it feels like it’s at the same tempo.  Kind of annoying of a remix to be honest.

 

 

MiChi’s 4th single and she picks up the slack after the last two singles (which were pretty mediocre on its own merits).  ONE and LiFE CLOCK were great positive tunes that sure bring a smile to someone’s face for sure and both were catchy tunes even though she hasn’t really changed in styles since her debut.  The cover song is alright and possibly quite good for the fans that don’t know the song, but I prefer the original sadly.  Yeah the remix….not so good.  At least this is better than the last few singles *phew*

 

MiChi – LOVE is. e.p December 28, 2010

Filed under: MiChi — solarblade @ 6:16 am

Track Listing

  1. LOVE is.
  2. YEAH YEAH YEAH!!!
  3. JUMP ON IT
  4. PRETTY FLY (FOR A WHITE GUY)

1. LOVE is.

I never expected that MiChi’s next single would’ve ended up being an upbeat song (like a lot of the others of the era) but LOVE is. definitely has an 80’s New Wave sound going for it which sounds pretty good for being the main track here.  It does kind of remind me of a lot of her songs previous, but the synths sound a little different than those songs so it’s not like it’s bland or anything.  It might take a little longer to get used to, but I know I’ll end up enjoying it after a while.

2. YEAH YEAH YEAH!!!

I was a little surprised that the first of the B-sides started off as slow as it did and kind of raised into this mid-tempo pop track.  I love the MiChi’s speed of singing some of the lyrics.  The chorus is kind of meh because of how much it repeats itself after a while and it kind of just becomes white noise after a while.  It’s the weakest song off the single, but I guess there’s time for it to catch on.

3. JUMP ON IT

~if you feel like shit just jump on it~.  Oh god, I did miss angry and attitude prone MiChi and with JUMP ON IT, she pulls her side back out and shows off with a pretty interesting beat and melody that would normally seem one-dimensional, but somehow it’s just the right amount of simplicity she needed to pull a song like this out.  I mean MiChi isn’t fully an electro artist, but this song would be a good representation of it! 

4. PRETTY FLY (FOR A WHITE GUY)

When you do covers it should be something that would make sense, but MiChi being herself, she picks the weirdest songs to cover.  As a cover of that amazing Offsprings song, MiChi still comes off as the weaker voice to the original since the lead of The Offsprings has a unique and gritty tone to his voice that MiChi couldn’t replicate.  Still the song has a bit of 8-bit, but keeps it faithful to the original arrangement and MiChi did this much better than her Nirvana cover. 

As it is MiChi’s 3rd single in the era, LOVE is. e.p was actually a much stronger single than the previous two, but the main song lacks the memorability of the other two.  Though the B-sides (not so much YEAH YEAH YEAH!!!) really made the single shine stronger.  I wouldn’t be surprised if MiChi releases another cover album in light of her attraction of doing them, but JUMP ON IT needs to be on an album with “All about the Girls ~Iijanka Party People~”.