Kurayami Monogatari

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Miliyah Kato – TRUE LOVERS November 28, 2012

Filed under: Miliyah Kato — solarblade @ 6:48 am

Track Listing

  1. HEART BEAT
  2. Kon’ya wa Boogie Back feat. Shota Shimizu & SHUN
  3. LOVERS part II feat. Wakadanna
  4. Nemurenu Yoru no Sei de
  5. True
  6. With U
  7. Baby Love
  8. Heartbreaker
  9. AIAIAI
  10. All I Want Is You
  11. ROMAN (Album ver.)
  12. Itoshi Hito
  13. Yuushatachi
  14. UGLY
  15. HEART BEAT (English Version) (bonus track)

1. HEART BEAT

Kicking off the album, we start things off with Miliyah’s 5th A-side released in the era!  I think it was a wise choice because the intro of the song sounds right as well.  It’s a nice track though since Miliyah brings the atmosphere into a brighter dance style quickly.  It’s definitely grown on me since the single review for sure and it’s a great way to start things off.

2. Kon’ya wa Boogie Back feat. Shota Shimizu & SHUN

Our first album track is interestingly a cover of a Scha Dara Parr feat. Kenji Ozawa (yeah a 1994 song of course).  From the title, I was kind of expecting something funky at the start, but the song opens up lightly and then gains a hip-hop beat.  Shota and SHUN are regulated to be the rappers of the song (I’m not used to Shota rapping, but it kind of works and he sings along with Miliyah).  Overall the song itself is a bit meh for me and kind of stays at the same pace the entire time.  For being a well-known song, I’m surprised.

3. LOVERS part II feat. Wakadanna

We move onto the 6th single released with LOVERS II and I’m still kind of torn with this song because of Wakadanna’s presence.  Miliyah’s performance is just spot on and she sounds so damn good in this song for sure!  Sadly, with the rappers presense the song just loses a lot of points because his sections are just annoying and really doesn’t fit the mood of the track at all.

4. Nemurenu Yoru no Sei de

A bunch of new tracks come up next starting with Nemurenu Yoru no Sei de which starts up following “LOVERS part II” but then shifts into this mid-tempo dance track which is a nice taste since I’ve really wanted something like this on the album.  It’s sounds like it’s a mysterious song for sure and I love that about it.  It’s definitely an early favorite for me!

5. True

We slow things back down again with our next track True which is Miliyah’s first true ballad.  It opens quietly with piano, some strings and Miliyah’s softly sung vocals.  After a while, the song gains a beat which somewhat helps the song, but I feel slightly bored with this song since Miliyah has other songs that are similar in her collection.

6. With U

I feared With U was going to fare the same fate as “True” because it starts up with strings and piano.  Luckily the song moves away from that by having the acoustic/synth mix with a cool beat and a bit more of a hook.  It feels like the song is trying to have a bit more grand, but it’s like locked in a state of leaving us a bit disappointed with no climax.  It’s not bad, but the song could’ve had more going on.

7. Baby Love

Miliyah gets a bit urban with our next track Baby Love and while it still kind of sits in the same position as the prevous songs have shown, at least the arrangement is a little more exciting.  After a while though, the song does  kind of fizzle out and I’m left forgetting how it goes.

8. Heartbreaker

~muh babyyyy, muh babyyyy, muh babyyyy~ This song at the beginning just screamed repetitive for sure!  I kind of like the unique air of Heartbreaker for some reason, plus the tongue clacking is kind of interesting.  It does prevent it from being a mindless and bland R&B track which is a great thing for this album at this point! 

9. AIAIAI

The 4th A-side comes in next and AIAIAI is still kind of the oddball single on the album IMO.  I mean she tackles the song right and she sounds amazing in the song, but something about the arrangement is so unusual to me.  It might be the sparkly feel and the chorus feeling a bit underwhelming.  I think I can get behind it, but I need more time with it (as if I needed any more to begin with lol).

10. All I Want Is You

As the album’s shortest song (under 4 minutes LOL).  All I Want Is You brings back to more of that normal Miliyah-ness that I’ve come to listen to since the “Ring” era.  It just doesn’t really tickle my fancy and doesn’t bring anything new to the table besides the kind of somber setting.  As it moves forward the song sounds a lot more intriguing but by that time the song starts to finish and fades out…I just wish the song felt like the ending the entire time.

11. ROMAN (Album ver.)

Strange that ROMAN is the only song on the album that has really changed but I don’t really hear much of a change to be honest so it must’ve been something really minor.  Maybe the arrangement had some extra work I don’t know.  ROMAN was pretty interesting as an A-side because it mixed R&B with a little bit of rock as well and I kind of liked that about it.  I mean it’s not a WTF as “WHY” was but it’s a good song overall.

12. Itoshi Hito

*yawn*, I feel like she’s really not stepping out with the ballads here since Itoshi Hito is quite boring and almost sits in the same place as “True”.  I actually will say that this bores me even more than the latter since the arrangement is really plain and the snapping is a bit to the book.  Just meh…

13. Yuushatachi

Then we get to the first single released (wait…where’s “DESIRE” or “BABY!BABY!BABY!” hmmm).  After all the meh tracks, Yuushatachi is actually a breath of air for me.  I know I wasn’t too thrilled about it way back when it was released as an A-side, but this song is kind of cute and Miliyah doesn’t sound too bad here.  One of the better tracks oddly enough.

14. UGLY

Strange that Miliyah ends the album with a song titled UGLY LOL.  I like the acoustic guitar being the primary instrument here since it’s light and kind of adds this bright atmosphere to a sad track it seems.  It’s pretty charming of a song and ends the album on a good note ^_^

15. HEART BEAT (English Version)

So the album’s bonus track is the English version of HEART BEAT was released as a digital single prior to the album and oddly enough I’m surprised this was a bonus since now it makes the album start and close the album with the same song!  Miliyah sounds good doing English but she has some slips of course…still not bad.

Tracks Recommended

  • Nemurenu Yoru no Sei de
  • HEART BEAT
  • All I Want Is You
  • UGLY
  • ROMAN (Album ver.)

Song of Avoidance

  • Itoshi Hito

It’s really strange coming into this album with such a stretched out era (6 singles + the two singles she collaborated with Shota Shimizu with) and with TRUE LOVERS, she kind of dropped the ballad with this one.  It just seems like this album was lacking something big time when compared to her last album, “HEAVEN” and I just can’t seem to point out what that is.  She’s got great vocals which is the best thing about the album, but the arrangements felt very stagnant and a bit too safe (with a couple of exceptions).  I don’t know…it just wasn’t a good album for me.

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Miliyah Kato – LOVERS part II feat. Wakadanna October 17, 2012

Filed under: Miliyah Kato — solarblade @ 4:29 am

Track Listing

  1. LOVERS part II feat. Wakadanna
  2. Mukuchi no Uta
  3. LALALA feat. Wakadanna T.O.M. Remix
  4. LOVERS part II feat. Wakadanna (Instrumental)

1. LOVERS part II feat. Wakadanna

So I guess this is the sequel of the first “LOVERS”…even though I’m not sure who did the original?  LOVERS II is a really mushy ballad from Miliyah and features your normal ballad instruments like strings and piano.  At least it changes after a while by getting a little more upbeat as an R&B track.  As for Wakadanna, he should’ve stayed off the track because his gritty rap lines really don’t fit this sweet lullaby tone of the track.  It’s a nice track, but Wakadanna kind of ruins it for me.

2. Mukuchi no Uta

The B-side also carries that lullaby quality to a further level which is something I wouldn’t expect Miliyah to pull.  Mukuchi no Uta is luckily a Wakadanna-less track and it’s nice to hear something so bare-boned like this.  The only instrument is really acoustic guitar and some background sparkles and such.  At the halfway point, a beat is added but doesn’t take away the mood of the song which I really liked.  Good track.

3. LALALA feat. Wakadanna T.O.M. Remix

So we get one of Miliyah’s older A-sides and has gotten a remix here.  Seeing that Wakadanna was involved worried me quite a bit lol.  From the beats of the song, I was expecting some hip-hop here because it has this 90’s flavor to it.  Basically it reminds me of a Mary J. Blige track.  Miliyah sounds good though once again, could’ve lived without Wakadanna…he just irks me SOOOOO badly in this track.

 

 

After “HEART BEAT”, I was kind of wondering what would’ve been next (I was seriously hoping for an album…seriously Miliyah? another single?).  LOVERS part II isn’t a bad single…not as good as her last, but this actually worked…BUUUUUUUUUT…Wakadanna had to come and basically ruin 2/3 of the single.  I mean his rapping is nonsensical and just hoarse and annoying as hell…if he wasn’t there, I would say this would’ve been my favorite but as it stands, not bad, but not amazing.

 

Miliyah Kato – HEART BEAT August 7, 2012

Filed under: Miliyah Kato — solarblade @ 11:13 pm

Track Listing

  1. HEART BEAT
  2. Rakuen
  3. HEART BEAT (DEXPISTOLS REMIX)
  4. HEART BEAT (MANABOON BOOGIE REMIX)

1. HEART BEAT

More of this experimentation Miliyah has been riding on but at least this actually sounds relatively good because instead of that messed up rock-style she took more to a dance style and I thought it’s been a long time coming from Miliyah since she does these kind of songs really well.  I do think the chorus doesn’t have enough bang to it, but it’s definitely a song that stands out in this current era.

2. Rakuen

As for the A-side, it’s a bit more to her style in R&B which at first is nice and all, but the song then dives into dubstep which is really disappointing for me because that’s where it stands for most of the song.  At least it’s nice that Miliyah is singing over to try to make it interesting and the song does get better over time.  It kind of just grows on you despite the overuse of dubstep, but this is a good track.

3. HEART BEAT (DEXPISTOLS REMIX)

The rest of the single is filled with HEART BEAT remixes.  It’s been a while since I’ve seen a DEXPISTOLS remix (last one I think was for Crystal Kay’s “ONE”.  Taking out the synths and adding some lighter beats and acoustic guitar, I thought that this was a pretty sweet remix and a lot better than the original track.

4. HEART BEAT (MANABOON BOOGIE REMIX)

The other remix on the single, the MANABOON remix features a piano-led arrangement but keeps the fun going with the arrangement as well.  I kind of like this remix the most because it sounds like Miliyah’s style and her vocals seem to fit here the best amongst the original.

 

 

I hope there’s an album coming soon just so we could get over the mess this entire era has been for her.  Luckily, HEART BEAT is the best single of the four because both A & B-side were actually good and not hot messes, especially after “AIAIAI”.  Though, the remixes both were a lot better than the original HEART BEAT so take that as you wish.  Pretty good single overall ^_^

 

Miliyah Kato – AIAIAI June 8, 2012

Filed under: Miliyah Kato — solarblade @ 6:47 am

Track Listing

  1. AIAIAI
  2. Doukoku
  3. Yuushatachi (T.O.M. REMIX)
  4. AIAIAI (Instrumental)

1. AIAIAI

I’m not sure what to think about AIAIAI because it’s definitely nothing she’s used to releasing really (then again this era has been weird).  I do like Miliyah’s deeper vocals she using in the song but I’m not sure what to classify the song as since it’s between rock, R&B, and pop.  She does growl a little bit and that’s cool.  Otherwise the song kind of comes off as just a little weird even for her…it’s missing something to glue the song better because I feel like it just doesn’t work with her at all.

2. Doukoku

The B-side for the single kind of strikes me as weird as well because it seems they boosted the synths and guitarwork for this song and I’m kind of just surprised.  I liked it when they were in the foreground and Miliyah wasn’t doing anything but once she comes in, the song just kind of loses that fire.  The chorus is quite underwhelming as well…not enough BOOM to let it leave a mark.  I guess a good thing is that it’s better than “AIAIAI”, but not by much.

3. Yuushatachi (T.O.M. REMIX)

I loved the remix T.O.M. did for “RAINBOW” so I was expecting the remix for Yuushatachi to be quite as good and I kind of do like it.  It’s better than either of the other songs on the single.  Yuushatachi has gotten dropped in some tradional Japanese goop and it came out slick and smooth and works even better than the original version of the song.  It’s just smooth R&B all the way through…no awkwardness to be had!

 

 

Ever since the “HEAVEN” era ended, Miliyah has just been having a hard time leaving a mark on me.  Her A-sides from “Yuushatachi” to now have been less than appealing just simply because she’s experimenting with guitars and R&B…it doesn’t work for her and all it does is just creates weird messes.  AIAIAI amd Doukoku both fail on that aspect because neither song is that memorable or even that great TBH.  The only redeeming quality the single has is the Yuushatachi remix…then again anything is better than the original.

 

Miliyah Kato – ROMAN December 14, 2011

Filed under: Miliyah Kato — solarblade @ 5:31 am

Track Listing

  1. ROMAN
  2. Baby tell me
  3. RAINBOW -T.O.M. REMIX-
  4. RAINBOW -MIDNIGHT ROMANCE REMIX-

1. ROMAN

I don’t know what it is about Miliyah but when she doesn’t release boring R&B songs, she can actually release good songs otherwise.  Oddly, ROMAN seems to land in the middle of everything.  I mean you can tell it’s a R&B tune but there’s something more elusive in this song which isn’t present in most of her songs.  It’s alright, but I’m kind of not enjoying Miliyah’s vocals in this song…it just doesn’t seem to work with the setting. 

2. Baby tell me

The B-side at least sounds a little different from her usual stuff.  I’m liking the sitar usage at the beginning and the use of acoustic guitar along with the synths and beats the song contains.  It does have this wintry feel to it since I also hear chimes being used throughout the song.  It still kind of is forgettable but it’s casually nice I guess if you want to put it that way.

3. RAINBOW -T.O.M. REMIX-

The rest of the single are remixes of RAINBOW (which was a new song found on her best-of, “M BEST”).  I’m surprised we’d get that, more or less two of them but the first one is quite nice and stands out on the single right from the start.  It’s the feistiest of the four songs on the single which is what I needed and I love the electro sound of RAINBOW.  It’s awesome, not gonna lie!

4. RAINBOW -MIDNIGHT ROMANCE REMIX-

The other remix of RAINBOW is actually quite the opposite to previous one.  The MIDNIGHT ROMANCE remix pretty much takes us on more of a ballad route by making most of the arrangement based on piano.  It’s nice I must say but I’m not sure if she resung the song for the remix since I never went and listened to the original.  It’s nice though, I can’t help but not deny.

 

 

I’m unsure where this’ll go era-wise but I’m not really into half of ROMAN to be honest.  Both the leading track and Baby tell me are kind of boring.  There were a little things that I did like from both those songs like ROMAN’s quiet and dark atmosphere and Baby tell me’s use of the chimes…otherwise eh.  The RAINBOW remixes was where it was at though.  T.O.M.’s remix was pretty awesome while the MIDNIGHT ROMANCE was sweet and simple….We need an epic Miliyah song….

 

Miliyah Kato×Shota Shimizu – BELIEVE July 12, 2011

Filed under: Miliyah Kato — solarblade @ 12:22 am

Track Listing

  1. BELIEVE
  2. My love goes on
  3. Love Forever (DAISHI DANCE REMIX)
  4. BELIEVE (Instrumental)

1. BELIEVE

I’m not surprised that Miliyah and Shota would collaborate again since this is the third A-side they’ve done together.  I will say that this is a stronger collaboration than their first one, “Love Forever”.  It’s not a slow song and is more towards a mid-tempo synthy R&B song but I actually found myself enjoying it even though neither singers really do much in the vocal area.  So it’s a rather safe song for the duo, but not bad to be honest.

2. My love goes on

I’m a little surprised we got another synth-based track but another Miliyah/Shota collaboration is a pretty good move.  It’s a little less exciting than “BELIEVE”, but the beat is still pretty constant.  Miliyah did a much better job singing here in my opinion, but Shota sounds rather nasally in this song…either way My love goes on is not as great as the A-sides but this is rather passable.

3. Love Forever (DAISHI DANCE REMIX)

The surprise on this single is that there’s a remix of Love Forever (their first collaborative A-side).  Of course I’m no stranger to DAISHI DANCE and his remixes always turns out to be pretty interesting for most of the remixes he’s done.  I love the dance-style mixed with piano and synths.  Though the beginning is a little long-winded and kind of annoying at first.  Once Miliyah and Shota come in with actual vocals it sounds great and adds more synths afterwards.  Long remix, but typical great DAISHI DANCE remix.

 

 

While I think the A-side will be one Miliyah’s next album, BELIEVE is actually quite a strong single overall with all three songs being more stronger than their previous effort.  Even the remix of Love Forever sounds great (maybe a lil too long) but still great single!

 

Miliyah Kato – DESIRE/BABY!BABY!BABY! June 26, 2011

Filed under: Miliyah Kato — solarblade @ 5:03 am

Track Listing

  1. DESIRE
  2. BABY!BABY!BABY!
  3. Ain’t no other
  4. DESIRE (Instrumental)

1. DESIRE

Gotta say, I like Miliyah’s ballads and all, but her upbeat stuff is so much better in my opinion because with songs like DESIRE, she knows how to work that well.  I love the deep synths used here and the kind of edgy feel the tune has mixed with Miliyah’s vocals since they’re sultry and it’s just that hot.  I’m not sure if it beats “BYE BYE” but it’s pretty catchy and fun to listen to.  Then again…almost 7 minutes long, yeah I’m shocked too.

2. BABY!BABY!BABY!

I’m not sure how to really explain the other A-side to be honest.  It starts slow that might’ve been kind of cool to listen because it’s funky but then this male vocal yells and the song speeds up quiet a bit into…even I’m not sure.  BABY!BABY!BABY! feels pretty rushed of a song and it kind of doesn’t connect to me as good as “DESIRE” did…I hope this isn’t on any album because I just don’t like this song right now.

3. Ain’t no other

As the single’s lone B-side, this is more of the Miliyah we’ve known to enjoy.  No, it’s not a ballad but it’s still R&B and it sounds kind of cool simply because the beats of the song are pumpin blood into the song and I’m loving it.  It might be just “Ring” fodder, but this has got some attitude to it and I enjoyed it.

 

 

I mean after the trainwreck of “Yuushatachi”, I thought DESIRE/BABY!BABY!BABY! was a good step back up into interests.  I love DESIRE since it’s a synth heavy track that’s catchy and has good vocals.  Ain’t no other is the same but switch the synths for more of an R&B style and you got the same.  BABY!BABY!BABY! though is just a messy ass song and I question why it’s even an A-side when the B-side and some of the songs from her previous single sounded so much cleaner.