Kurayami Monogatari

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Minori Chihara – SELF PRODUCER October 21, 2012

Filed under: Minori Chihara — solarblade @ 8:29 am

Track Listing

  1. SELF PRODUCER
  2. Secret Season ~Sakurairo no Koibito~
  3. Hitohira no Negai
  4. Umareru Ashira no Melody

1. SELF PRODUCER

Kicking the single off, SELF PRODUCER was a bit of a random surprise but with that art cover it kind of suits it.  The track is kind of happy-go-lucky and Minorin is kind of just enjoying the ride.  Her vocals aren’t exactly stellar or anything but she puts in a good effort.  Sadly, I think of the three singles of the current era, this might be the weakest yet.

2. Secret Season ~Sakurairo no Koibito~

Ack, those squeaky vocals continue to make me frown as she intros into the first B-side which like “ZONE//ALONE” almost reminds me of a Nana Mizuki song.  Though it does kind of ride along this synth/string melody and keeping everything upbeat and such.  It’s a nice track overall and I think it stands out slightly more than “SELF PRODUCER”.

3. Hitohira no Negai

Minorin, let’s not open with squeaky lyrics AGAIN!  What I do enjoy of Hitohira no Negai is that it has this nostalgic J-pop/rock kind of arrangement that goes to older anime themes (or current ones, whichever).  That said, the song might sound a little too bland and Minori’s vocals don’t exactly fit the slower style much.  I also felt like it was dragging as well (especially for a 6:35 time.

4. Umareru Ashita no Melody

I’m kind of surprised that Minorin has a 3rd B-side tacked on the single!  This kind of goes back to “Freedom Dreamer” with it’s summery beach sound with emphasis of bass and acoustic guitar.  There’a little bit of charm here and there, but the track ultimately falls on deaf ears…once again…nothing memorable.

 

 

As this is Minorin’s 3rd single of the era, this was surprisingly WEAK when compared to both of her previous singles.  None of the 4 tracks really stood out to me (maybe Secret Season since I wasn’t bored of that).  I just kind of ran through this single with mostly a frown on my face….just bland ansion music here this time around.

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Minori Chihara – ZONE//ALONE July 10, 2012

Filed under: Minori Chihara — solarblade @ 12:05 am

Track Listing

  1. ZONE//ALONE
  2. Shakunetsu PARADISE
  3. Forever Memories

1. ZONE//ALONE

No surprise that ZONE//ALONE sounds like a damn Nana Mizuki song because Elements Garden produced the song hence the surprising amount of synths and strings in the tune.  I mean it kind of reminds me of stuff like “Mugen” amd “METRO BAROQUE” by the way it stands which could be a negative but this is with Minorin’s vocals which are less dramatic than Nana’s.  One one side of the coin it’s a lot better than any of Minorin’s previous efforts in the “D-Formation” era but at the same time it doesn’t bring anything new to the table because I can get the same but better from Nana.

2. Shakunetsu PARADISE

Then we get into something a little less than appealing with Shakunetsu PARADISE.  It does suit her more cute style but her vocals took a dive for this song which is more nasally and suited for the arrangement.  It’s not as bad as some previous stuff like “Freedom Dreamer” but it’s a song that I would avoid lol.

3. Forever Memories

I kind of figured that a title such as Forever Memories would be considered a ballad and more lyrical-based kind of song.  While I wished Minorin ditched the nasal vocals, she sings with it here and I kind of found it odd to listen to her which the arrangement is more slow and focused on the piano and strings. 

 

 

I really don’t know how to feel about Minorin, I like her and sometimes I just don’t.  ZONE//ALONE is good for Minori fans since it is a lot more powerful and stood out a lot more than “Celestial Diva” did.  However, the single itself was a bit worse.  Her voice in both Shakunetsu PARADISE and Forever Memories is back to no good with her nasally tones and just overall ickyness.  I didn’t found either of those two tracks to be rather memorable anyways…At least her A-sides are still good!

 

Minori Chihara – Celestial Diva March 25, 2012

Filed under: Minori Chihara — solarblade @ 1:10 am

Track Listing

  1. Celestial Diva
  2. IDENTITY
  3. Celestial Diva (off vocal)
  4. IDENTITY (off vocal)

1. Celestial Diva

I was curious getting into Celestial Diva since the lyrics were written by Arika from ALI PROJECT.  The arrangement though has Minorin’s synth style which is pretty cool oddly enough but Minori’s vocals do sound a little odd since they’re just a bit nasally here.  I mean it’s not as epic as some of the tracks on “D-Formation” but this is a good way to begin an era (rather than “Freedom Dreamer” or “Yasashii Boukyaku”.

2. IDENTITY

I will say I wasn’t expecting both tracks to be upbeat and synth-heavy like they are.  IDENTITY though reminds me more of different anime themes since it’s mid-tempo and has a bit of stringwork spaced out and around the song.  I do approve of this one more since her voice is a lot more easier to take than in “Celestial Diva”.

 

 

She’s definitely a release hound it seems.  I mean we haven’t really had “D-Formation” for a long time but that’s OK.  Celestial Diva is actually not too bad and for a first A-side of a new era, it stood out better than what began her last era for sure.  IDENTITY though is the better song oddly enough and made a stronger impression with its heavier arrangement and stronger vocals.  Good single ^_^

 

Minori Chihara – D-Formation March 4, 2012

Filed under: Minori Chihara — solarblade @ 4:42 am

Track Listing

  1. D-FORMATION
  2. Dream Wonder Formation
  3. Usotsuki ParADox
  4. Metamorphosing Door
  5. Planet patrol
  6. KEY FOR LIFE
  7. Kono Sekai no Mono de Kono Sekai no Mono de Nai
  8. X-DAY
  9. Defection
  10. Akatsuki Tsukiyo
  11. TERMINATED
  12. Ai no Uta
  13. Yume no mirage
  14. Freedom Dreamer

1. D-FORMATION

The title track of the album is just merely an introduction to the album but it does show what majority of the album will sound like.  I love the synths in the song and then hearing Minorin under filters also seems to work as well.  It gives the song this cold and robotic feel to it that sounds really cool.  Even though it does have actual verses and a chorus, it’s still pretty short being 2 and a half minutes.  Nice start though!

2. Dream Wonder Formation

It would make sense also if this counted as a title track since it does have D-Formation in it right?  Well the first full song and promotional song for the album, I have to say I enjoyed hearing this song since it’s not like any of her stuff that she released as A-sides all throughout the era.  It has a little more of an electro/anison arrangement going and even added some guitars for kicks.  I mean Minori’s vocals are still a bit higher than previous song but she doesn’t seem to be forcing like she has in other songs so it’s a step up.  I really did enjoy the song and it works with the PV it got.

3. Usotsuki ParADox

Being the same length as our previous song, Usotsuki ParADox continues to supply us with the synthy goodness that filled our ears in previous albums.  It’s funny though because as I’m listening to this song it really makes me feel like I’m listening to KOTOKO’s “SCREW” since they both sound similar for some strange reason.  I will say, the song kind of sounds great and the darker glow of the song worked for Minorin here.  It might not be as explosive like other songs on the album but it stood out to me for being rather different!

4. Metamorphosing Door

I actually thinking we were getting more of that darker sound going with our next track but in reality it went the other direction and is one of the new songs that utilize Minorin’s higher vocals (though not very high amongst others).  I do like the synth melody, but besides that there isn’t much to remember it by and I kind of just forget the song.  I’m sure it’ll grow since I do adore the melody but Minorin doesn’t impress me here.

5. Planet patrol

Getting into two A-sides of the era, we all know that I’ve just disliked most of them.  As the sixth A-side of the era, Planet patrol since I reviewed it has kind of dropped immensely of my liking.  Maybe it’s just listening to it again but nowadays it kind feels a bit plain and slow and Minorin’s vocals are pitchy here.  Just not my kind of song anymore.

6. KEY FOR LIFE

Which moves into another A-side that I pretty much dislike from first listen and continues to disappoint me.  I mean it shares a lot with “Freedom Dreamer” and “Planet patrol” like the rather weak arrangement along with Minori’s squeaky high voice.  There’s not a lot of anything remarkable about the song and it kind of ranks on the lower side of A-sides from her.

7. Kono Sekai no Mono de Kono Sekai no Mono de Nai

At least after those two songs we get back into some new songs that kind of return to the synthy drive that made the first four songs stand out.  This rather arduous title, is actually the first ballad to pop up on the album and I kind of enjoyed it even though I would’ve preferred her using her good tone and not her squeaky self.  At least this is a little more engaging than “Yasashii Boukyaku” and “Ittousei”. 

8. X-DAY

After three shrug-worthy songs, it’s nice that X-DAY follows up.  I was actually surprised the song begun with a spoken monologue from Minori before the song moves into a anison/dance track and even better is to hear Minori back to her normal tone.  It does kind of remind of stuff from her last album in a good way.  While it’s not the most epic track on the album, it’s kind of nice to listen to and there’s no problems here.

9. Defection

Moving to the 4th (or 5th seeing as it was released simultaneously with “KEY FOR LIFE”), Defection is one of the few A-sides that really caught me by surprise and turned out that I liked it.  I have to say that putting it after “X-DAY” was smart because to me, this track adds to it and making it a bit more faster paced and a tad bit more heavier.  Not bad here!

10. Akatsuki Tsukiyo

I enjoyed the fact that our next new song begun with a strings introduction and then opens to an even more aggressive synth track that almost reminds me of “Dream Wonder Formation” but she added a lot to this song to make it stand out and have a stronger arrangement makes it sound complete to me.  Of the synth heavy songs though, this probably has the most going on and the biggest punch but oddly enough, I still prefer “Usotsuki ParADox”.

11. TERMINATED

I will say that I’m elated to see that my favorite A-side made the cut!  As the sort-of final single of the era (of the album it is the last A-side she released for D-Formation…overall her last single was “Minorin Ondo”).  TERMINATED is epic and just all kinds of dramatic strings and great vocals.  I will say it’s not as beat-heavy like “Akatsuki Tsukiyo” but this is near it at least but I felt like Minorin was trying to channel a little ALIPRO with the music.  It’s still great though and it surpasses many of the songs on this album.

12. Ai no Uta

Another artist that has fell to the Ai no Uta curse it seems lol.  At least this one isn’t a ballad (like nurmerous others are).  I will say that I like that I hear a mix of synths and natural instruments like guitars.  It’s upbeat and to be honest it kind of reminds me of “Planet patrol” but a little less cheery.  It doesn’t speak to me much despite it sounds alright.  Her voice does rub me the wrong way in the song.  It’s ok but nothing spectacular.

13. Yume no mirage

The final two songs though are kind of just ugh to me.  The first is the last of the new songs.  I couldn’t believe Minorin would return to use squeaky vocals in this song and it just doesn’t get better for me.  I guess since it is a pop/rock kind of song it should be alright but her voice just makes me frown.  It just doesn’t work for me and should be avoided.

14. Freedom Dreamer

As the first A-side represented for this album (second if you’re counting missing ones), Freedom Dreamer is just as disappointing if not more than “Yume no mirage” for me.  It’s just a bit too sugary for me and her vocals displeases me even moreso!  I don’t know why she really chose to make this song the closing track but it fell flat for me!

Tracks Recommended

  • Usotsuki ParADox
  • Akatsuki Tsukiyo
  • TERMINATED
  • Dream Wonder Formation
  • Defection

Song of Avoidance

  • Freedom Dreamer

This era has been nothing but a fail fest for poor Minorin. Of all 8 A-sides she’s released in the era…I really only liked 3 of them (Ittousei, Defection, and TERMINATED) so it’s nice she included 2/3 on the album and surprisingly enough, the new tracks did turn out nice for the most part but had some stinkers as well.  I hope she doesn’t pull a stunt like this again and goes back to epic music because the singles nearly killed me from her!

 

Minori Chihara – Minorin Ondo January 11, 2012

Filed under: Minori Chihara — solarblade @ 5:22 am

Track Listing

  1. Minorin Ondo
  2. Minorin Ondo (Karaoke)

1. Minorin Ondo

Of course it’s going to be random to see Minorin tackle Ondo but here we are!  It does carry itself like one and it’s pretty humorous to hear her squeaky voice try to tackle something like this and I’m just kind of finding myself giggling along with this.  It’s not as catchy as the H!P ondo songs but I guess it’s alright.

 

 

Even though it’s like “Ittousei” in which it was released as a special single, Minorin Ondo kind of is as random as the Minorin Samba song she released.  It’s bizarre and it’s no surprise it won’t be on “D-Formation” but I’m sure her fans will have kicks with this one.

 

Minori Chihara – Yasashii Boukyaku

Filed under: Minori Chihara — solarblade @ 5:08 am

Track Listing

  1. Yasashii Boukyaku
  2. Yasashii Boukyaku -sonority-
  3. Yasashii Boukyaku -sincerity-
  4. Yasashii Boukyaku ~ Aru Hi no Yume

1. Yasashii Boukyaku

Seeing as I missed out on a quick release, Yasashii Boukyaku represents Minorin’s more softer side and it shows with this song.  It’s kind of a soft and quiet tune but with Minorin’s kind of higher pitched sound.  It’s a bit like later released “Ittousei” but this was for an anime.  It’s an interesting way to begin an era with such a song but it’s nice for what it is.

2. Yasashii Boukyaku -sonority-

There’s different versions of the song placed on the rest of the single.  The first is basically just an acapella version of the song so there’s no music and just Minorin singing the song.  I’m not sure if she resung it but without music, it kind of feels awkward actually.  Meh…

3. Yasashii Boukyaku -sincerity-

On the flipside, this version of Yasashii Boukyaku is a piano and strings version of the song and that worked so much more better than the last version.  Like the title says it’s more sincere and flows a lot better.  However, I’m still unsure if it’s a step up above the original or not.  Time will tell I guess hahaha.

4. Yasashii Boukyaku ~ Aru Hi no Yume

Closing the single out is kind of an instrumental but at the same time not.  I mean it’s a lot shorter than all three of the tracks before but it gets the job done since it plays upon the melody of the song so…maybe it is more of an instrumental. 

 

 

It’s weird that I spaced out and forgot to review this since it was released a week after “Sing All Love”.  However, it seems that this, “Ittousei”, and “Minorin Ondo” aren’t going to make “D-Formation’s” tracklist but it’s hard to see why with this one since it’s an official release and not a special one like the other two.  About the single, I’d only listen to the original and the sincerity version.  The other two versions are kind of boring actually.  It’s alright but a couple other singles in the era were better.

 

Minori Chihara – TERMINATED October 18, 2011

Filed under: Minori Chihara — solarblade @ 9:18 pm

Track Listing

  1. TERMINATED
  2. Meguriai ~Kakegae no Nai Mono~
  3. HYPER NEW WORLD

1. TERMINATED

Finally something that actually doesn’t make me want to shoot poor Minorin.  TERMINATED finally has something that her previous singles lacked and that was powerful vocals that weren’t otherwise sugary cute (though I’ll make an exception for “Defection”).  I love the dramatic orchestrated intro before it turns into a synth/string battle and it sounds great!  Minorin also has got her vocals together and she sounds epic basically.  I’m still picking my jaw off the ground from this song, definitely her best A-side of the era by a LOOOOONG shot.

2. Meguriai ~Kakegae no Nai Mono

She hasn’t done a ballad for a while so it’s nice that Meguriai kind of takes up that spot on this single.  However, Minorin sings in a more pitchier tone which parallels like Miku Hatsune at some parts which bothered me a little bit.  Even the arrangement isn’t very engaging and it just doesn’t grab me as good as “TERMINATED”.

3. HYPER NEW WORLD

Of course it isn’t a Minorin single without something very upbeat and using her seiyuu vocals for.  HYPER NEW WORLD is kind of euro/anime-ish and very energetic which might be great and oddly enough the vocals kind of fit the style despite not being my favorite.  It’s a little better than “Meguriai” that’s for sure!

 

 

Is it album time yet?  I mean 5 singles (or 6) and still no album in sight?  I must say that TERMINATED, the A-side is her best song through the entire era which is great but shows how crappy most of the other songs are TBH.  Meguriai is a pretty failish ballad and her singing kind of ruined it that for me.  HYPER NEW WORLD was alright but kind of is just that when compared to other tunes in the era.  I really want this era to be over!