Kurayami Monogatari

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miwa – Miracle February 18, 2014

Filed under: miwa — solarblade @ 6:08 pm

miracle

Track Listing

  1. Miracle
  2. Smile
  3. Color*ful ~MY STYLE ver.~
  4. Miracle ~instrumental~

1. Miracle

Miracle starts out being subdued in sound with some synths before miwa comes in with some fast acoustic guitar and a breezy tone that stays the entire song.  I’m kind of enjoying the more swifter arrangement and then you have miwa’s light and bright vocals to make the song just come off as they feelgood track.  It’s a nice track of course and it definitely screams sumemr goodness!

2. Smile

On the other hand, the main B-side, Smile is more deeper and slower which is a nice change of moods.  As a ballad, miwa’s voice seems more suited for these kind of tracks and in this one it’s very pleasant to listen to but the arrangement is slightly lacking and kind of just forgetful, but ballad lovers will definitely take to this one for sure!

3. Color*ful ~MY STYLE ver.~

A new version of the B-side from her last single already?  Seems really strange XD.  This version of the song isn’t as peppy and bright like the original, but it definitely lightened on the instruments so we’re given a stripped down version with shakers, flutes, and light percussion alongside miwa’s acoustic guitar.  I actually found myself enjoying this version as well and it kind of has this island-like feel to it which I just fell in love with.  Not bad!

 

 

Closing out the “Delight” era, Miracle is overall a pretty good single!  Miracle is happy and fun to listen to and has such a strong summer tone that didn’t seem cheesy or overdone.  Its B-side, Smile is an OK acoustic ballad, but not the best she’s done and the new version of Color*ful was just magical to listen to.  Strong way to lead into her 3rd album that’s for sure!

 

miwa – Whistle ~Kimi to Sugoshita Hibi~ January 16, 2013

Filed under: miwa — solarblade @ 5:52 am

whistle

Track Listing

  1. Whistle ~Kimi to Sugoshita Hibi~
  2. Color*ful
  3. HiKARiE English × original version (Regular only)
  4. Hikari e instrumental synth theme (Regular only)
  5. HiKARiE English × guitar version (Limited Type A only)
  6. Hikari e humming × guitar version (Limited Type A only)
  7. HiKARiE English × piano version (Limited Type B only)
  8. Hikari e humming × piano version (Limited Type B only)
  9. Whistle ~Kimi to Sugoshita Hibi~ (Instrumental)

1. Whistle ~Kimi to Sugoshita Hibi~

Starting the single off, Whistle tones things down after “Hikari e” to a piano ballad.  For some reason, this song just doesn’t do it for me.  I mean miwa’s vocals are sounding a bit tired here and it also shows with the very slow arrangement that kind of just doesn’t go far beyond adding strings.  I was expecting something at the same level as the last couple of singles, but this is kind of a borefest of a song!

2. Color*ful

At least miwa somewhat makes up for the A-side with Color*ful which is a bit more vibrant and sounds like the normal miwa we all know and love.  I do love the fact that she incorporated flute in the song as it brings a sense of Spring and liveliness.  A much better track than “Whistle” and I actually hope it makes it on her next album!

3. HiKARiE English × original version

What really threw me off though is that the rest of the single is split into three versions and each has two different tracks each.  The regular edition is probably the one to maybe get the most since you get the English version of Hikari e.  Not bad and I enjoyed that she resung the track and all, but otherwise the arrangement is the same as the last A-side.  That being said, I still really enjoy it and now I can hear the song in English with this arrangement!

4. Hikari e instrumental synth theme

Yeah the song is essentially an instrumental so that means there’s no miwa present.  So all you have left is synths acting as the main melody (and some other small things that’s thrown around).  This would’ve been nice with lyrics, but it is what it is right?

5. HiKARiE English × guitar version
6. Hikari e humming × guitar version

Then we get into Type A’s tracks and the English version gets the acoustic treatment!  Once again it sounds like she resung it because the version is a lot slower and with acoustic guitar (and some atmospheric sounds) so it demanded a bit more of a calmer pace.  It’s a pleasant track and all, but I prefer the original (or remix).  Though I was expecting a JPN version take, but the humming version is just her ad-libbing the melody of the song THE ENTIRE TIME…so it’s just really unneeded.

7. HiKARiE English × piano version
8. Hikari e humming × piano version

Finally, on Type B, we get piano versions which are the same as the last two tracks, but replacing the acoustic guitar with light piano but miwa sounds exactly the same so it’s not like she did anything different.  Of course the latter track is the same thing as well…yeah…

 

 

As the second single of the era, Whistle was pretty disappointing after how well received “Hikari e” was for me.  I felt like the leading track was just super boring and her vocals were kind of off as well.  Color*ful is the preferred track with it’s breezy and happy sound that woke me up.  Though my biggest concern was ALL THOSE VERSIONS of Hikari e on this single…5/6 of them were so unnecessary and stupid of her label to pull off…really the only one you should even get is HiKARiE’s original version since it made sense unlike the others…what a messy single  T.T

 

miwa – Hikari e August 14, 2012

Filed under: miwa — solarblade @ 7:31 am

Track Listing

  1. Hikari e
  2. Napa
  3. HiKARiE Remix ~English version~
  4. Hikari e ~instrumental~
  5. Boku ga Boku de Aru Tame ni (bonus track)

1. Hikari e

At least the song isn’t a cover of that One Piece theme XD.  Hikari e marks as an interesting departure for miwa!  Instead of her normal and natural sound, the song has dance beats and miwa under some auto-tune giving this rather unique sound (but she’s still playing guitar).  To me, I felt like she was being risky and the song turned out pretty well for her because I found myself entranced by the song.  It’s a great A-side and definitely is most unique song in her discography currently.

2. Napa

If you were looking for more of what she’s been releasing since her debut, Napa is definitely in that direction but it’s also quite simple of a song when compared to the last couple of releases.  miwa’s vocals are quite something and she sounds carefree and light which adds to the atmosphere of the song,  If you were a fan of any of the songs during the “guitarissimo” era. them you’ll like this.  Otherwise “Hikari e
 still outranks this by a big shot, but this isn’t a bad song to couple it with.

3. HiKARiE Remix ~English version~

A remix of Hikari e?  This is a first for miwa in so many ways.  I mean a remix and singing in English?  I have to say that the auto-tune is still present and it sometimes makes miwa’s pronunciations sound weird.  I actually think it isn’t a bad rendition because she sounds lively and the song has more charm with the English.  The arrangement has added more dance beats and synths to fill out the spaces and the led to a pretty solid track!

4. Boku ga Boku de Aru Tame ni

I’m surprised that the last track is called a bonus track since it’s a Yutaka Ozaki cover.  Now this is also a song that fits into her last two albums with its pop/rock arrangement.  It’s a nice track and a worthy cover song but on this single it just gets overshadowed by everything else on this single 😄

 

 

miwa really kicks things off her 3rd album era with a surprising single in Hikari e,  No one suspected that she would’ve went the dance route with the lead track (and it’s English remixed version) and somehow made it work for her in a good way because this is my favorite A-side since “Otoshimono”.  Napa is a nice song and keeps to her original style in good fashion and the cover song sticks as well, but c’mon the A-side is really the winner here!

 

miwa – guitarium March 15, 2012

Filed under: miwa — solarblade @ 2:53 am

Track Listing

  1. Ikutsu ni Nattemo
  2. 441
  3. Futari no Saturday
  4. Kataomoi
  5. again×again
  6. Jexxxa
  7. Mata ne
  8. Cotton no Kisetsu
  9. Chasing hearts
  10. Merry Go Round
  11. Clair de Lune
  12. Take@chance
  13. FRiDAY-MA-MAGiC
  14. Hajimari wa Owari ja Nai <endless version>

1. Ikutsu ni Nattemo

miwa opens the album up by saying ~Let’s keep our heads up~ before getting into this very fun and energetic first song.  Ikutsu ni Nattemo kind of seems to follow along miwa’s more recent happier vibes when compared to most of the “guitarissimo” which is pretty impressive since I’ve warmed up immensely to miwa’s music.  I love her eccentric style for the song and it makes me hope the rest of the album will continue to impress me.

2. 441

Though it’ll be hard since six of the songs I’ve heard already before (well five since the final song is a new version and all).  441 was the A-side that began the era and it was a confusing song for me to decide if I liked it or not because while it’s upbeat and straightforward, it was hard to tell if the song was actually sad or not.  Overall this was a pretty good song from her but the A-sides that were released after it, were a bit better IMO.

3. Futari no Saturday

We actually knew of this song a while before the album was announced oddly enough but at least we finally did get this song.  Futari no Saturday is a little more laidback than the previous two tracks and definitely carries her “guitarissimo” style over very nicely.  It sounds like a song from her debut album but touched up a little bit with her happier feel.  Not as good as “Ikutsu ni Nattemo” but simply nice.

4. Kataomoi

We move into the era’s 3rd and final A-side with Kataomoi which was also the leading ballad.  I still do think the 6 minute length is a bit much but I’m always like that with ballads.  Also up to this point there was a lot of guitars in the previous tracks and coming to a piano/strings (mixed with a little acoustic guitar) was a needed change haha.  I really enjoyed miwa’s vocals oddly enough because it sounds so heartfelt.  Pleasant song overall.

5. again×again

After “Kataomoi” it was time to energize the album again with a little more oomph like this song which has electric guitar as the main focus.  I will say that I like the bigger bite of this song and makes it a little more energetic than “441” or “Futari no Saturday”.  If anything, it kind of reminds me of “chAngE”.  I enjoyed this song quite a bit ^_^

6. Jexxxa

I actually would’ve though this would be pretty much the hardest song on the album, but it isn’t and kind of is laidback like “Chasing hearts” and “441” for that matter.  Unfortunately, the song isn’t very memorable for me and just phases on by for me.  I kind of wish I could remember the tune’s melody but I just can’t.

7. Mata ne

As we get to the half-way point of the album we’re treated to Mata ne which begins with a beautiful strings line before it goes away and leaves us with miwa and acoustic guitar playing for a little bit before other instruments (and the strings) are added in.  A lot memorable of a song than the last ballad lol.

8. Cotton no Kisetsu

Cotton no Kisetsu was another song that was known before the album’s released but it was a CM song.  Unlike the previous tracks, this one feels a little straightforward of a song and kind of just passes by…hmm…like “Futari no Saturday”.  It’s not that it’s bad or anything it just lacks the memorability card that most of the other tracks have so it’s kind of forgotten here.

9. Chasing hearts

So like the A-sides, all of the B-sides made the cut as well (whoohoo!).  The first one was obviously going to make the cut because of the fact that the track had a tie-in to the FMA series.  I still really enjoy the song from the single so I was elated to see this on the album…moreso in the middle lol.  It’s happy but not like a couple songs and it has a nice identity to it.  It’s my favorite B-side of the era.

10. Merry Go Round

Funny that our last song leads into this little ditz in Merry Go Round which is totally absurd but doesn’t make sense since it doesn’t come before “FRiDAY-MA-MAGiC”.  What I meant, was this song is the cutest and oddest song of the album since it has filters on miwa’s vocals plus the synth-dependent atmosphere.  So darn cute though but I don’t think it ranks amongst the best.

11. Clair de Lune

Another breezy song?  This is a bit like the other songs the only thing that set them apart is the fact that this was the B-side from “Kataomoi”.  I mean it was nice to listen to on the single…but somehow at this point on the album, it’s quite forgettable.  I kind of wish there was a little more to it.  *sigh*

12. Take@chance

The last new song on the album of course gets that “@” in it huh…she had to be a little weird.  This song does sound alright but nothing that really speaks much out loud unlike songs previous (repeating myself I know).  Not really a good idea being after “Clair de Lune” since they both are rather similar and I’m already disappointed with both as it is…Biggest difference is that there’s banjo involved here so it’s more Western Country.

13. FRiDAY-MA-MAGiC

Hey if being exciting is making the second A-side near the end then count me in because I was loving this song back in 2011 and to see it on here is making me a happy person.  It’s just happy and so very energetic.  I mean it’s easily comparable to “Ikutsu ni Nattemo” but this was here first so I like it a lot more xD.

14. Hajimari wa Owari ja Nai <endless version>

Finally putting the album to a close, we get a new version of Hajimari wa Owari ja Nai from the “FRiDAY-MA-MAGiC” single.  Adding about a minute to the song, it’s changed from it’s original flow-y sound to a more strings-based atmosphere but retaining the acoustic guitar and miwa’s nice vocals (which were resung…I think).  Overall it was a fitting choice to close the album and a nice version and upgraded the B-side up!

Tracks Recommended

  • FRiDAY-MA-MAGiC
  • Ikutsu ni Nattemo
  • again×again
  • Chasing hearts
  • Mata ne

Song of Avoidance

  • Jexxxa

If you were a fan of miwa’s debut album you be kind of surprised but not surprised by guitarium.  Which is more or less a contination from “guitarissimo”.  The biggest obvious change between the albums is that she’s lightened up and started to have fun with her songs as seen in songs like FRiDAY-MA-MAGiC, Ikutsu ni Nattemo, and even Merry Go Round and had less depressing songs (which kind of escapes my mind currently if there were sad songs).  Still…I wouldn’t say it’s better than her debut but it sits exactly next to it…both albums have the same amount of good n’ bad.

 

miwa – Kataomoi February 4, 2012

Filed under: miwa — solarblade @ 4:22 am

Track Listing

  1. Kataomoi
  2. Clair de Lune
  3. acoustic live tour “acoguissimo” Medley
  4. Kataomoi ~Instrumental~

1. Kataomoi

I’m so used to hearing miwa with her guitar and such so coming into Kataomoi, I was surprised nicely with the change into using piano and strings for a ballad.  As the song progresses more instruments (plus miwa’s acoustic) comes in to join in.  I will say that while her voice is soft and sweet to listen and the strings make it stand out…it doesn’t stop the fact that it was a bit too long at 6 minutes.  Then again it could be because of that 30 second outro haha.  Not bad, not bad…but “FRiDAY-MA-MAGiC” kind of overpowers it…but it’s in the middle between “441”.

2. Clair de Lune

It’s nice to see that miwa made the B-side upbeat to contrast from the ballad form in “Kataomoi”.  It kind of reminds me of her other upbeats songs like “chAngE” and “don’t cry anymore”.  It’s funny though that at the same time, I feel that it sounds like it’s an ending theme to something but I’m not totally sure on that.  Still, I kind of like this tune, it’s just happy and nice…I think I’ve said those things many times before with miwa’s music.

3. acoustic live tour “acoguissimo” Medley

  • 441
  • Wake Up, Break Out!
  • don’t cry anymore
  • Chasing hearts
  • FRiDAY-MA-MAGiC
  • chAngE
  • Megurogawa

I guess the surprise of the single is actually the 12 and a half minute medley compiling a lot of different songs miwa has done so far in her career.  I have to say I’m impressed by miwa here since she sounds so strong through the entire medley and I’m also enjoying the audience clapping along to the music.  I have to see the movement between songs are sudden and flawlessly done!  She’s impressive on an acoustic guitar that’s for sure! 

 

 

Closing the era off, Kataomoi was pretty good if not just as good as her last single, “FRiDAY-MA-MAGiC”.  I mean ok, Kataomoi isn’t as good as her last A-side but that’s all right because the B-side, Clair de Lune felt a lot stronger than I would’ve expected.  The main attraction IMO would have to be the medley…It’s just all kinds of goodness of miwa singing most of her popular songs plus a few surprises.  I’m quite excited for this upcoming album!

 

miwa – FRiDAY-MA-MAGiC September 21, 2011

Filed under: miwa — solarblade @ 1:26 am

Track Listing

  1. FRiDAY-MA-MAGiC
  2. Hajimari wa Owari ja Nai
  3. Tsuyoku Naritai ~from live tour 2011 “guitarissimo”~
  4. FRiDAY-MA-MAGiC ~instrumental~

1. FRiDAY-MA-MAGiC

After the slight disappointment in “441”, I was hoping she’d hop back up with something nice for an A-side and she scored points with FRiDAY-MA-MAGiC since it’s upbeat, lively, and has such a positive atmosphere along with miwa who’s just having a ball with this song.  Her vocals have seemed to also have more control as well giving a nice and strong performance.  I actually think this could have the potential to become a favorite of mine when it comes to miwa songs…GREAT JOB!

2. Hajimari wa Owari ja Nai

The B-side of the single Hajimari wa Owari ja Nai is also upbeat but not as electrifying as the A-side.  It’s kind of like “Haru ni Nattara” but a little more breezy in its arrangement since it’s still western sounding.  Here, I seriously get major YUI vibes with this one but I like that since it’s positive and just moves at a good pace.  Fitting as a B-side but it’s one of the better ones I’ve heard.

3. Tsuyoku Naritai ~from live tour 2011 “guitarissimo”~

If you can recall, Tsuyoku Naritai was the final track off her debut album “guitarissimo”.  I think it was nice to include a live version of one of miwa’s slower songs since we get to hear both her playing and singing along with herself.  I could never remember how this song went in its studio version so hearing this gives it a new light that makes it somewhat easier to remember.  Good take on an album song.

 

 

I’m gonna say that FRiDAY-MA-MAGiC is miwa’s best single yet.  Both the A-side and B-side had such great and positive vibes to them that it was hard not to smile at either of them.  Even the live version of Tsuyoku Naritai was pretty to listen to.  I’d say there was nothing wrong with this single at all *RECOMMENDED*

 

miwa – 441 June 28, 2011

Filed under: miwa — solarblade @ 6:47 pm

Track Listing

  1. 441
  2. Chasing hearts
  3. Haru ni Nattara <acoustic version>
  4. 441 ~instrumental~

1. 441

To me, 441 sounds refreshing but I’m not sure why because it’s really only miwa, her acoustic guitar, piano, strings, and percussion present in the song.  It’s kind of catchy since it’s so upbeat and such but it has this sadness behind it…but I don’t know what the translation for the song really is.  It’s pretty good…but why does it feel like I should be saying otherwise…?  I don’t think it’s close to previous songs…?

2. Chasing hearts

Odd that the most important track turned out to be the B-side of the single.  Chasing hearts does a much better job at leaving an impression because the tune sounds so free and breezy like “Haru ni Nattara” was but done better IMO.  I actually loved miwa’s vocals and the upbeat and free arrangement was just right…Poor decision to make this a B-side (But, since it’s tied to FMA, I bet this’ll be on her next album.

3. Haru ni Nattara <acoustic version>

Instead of the pop/rock arrangement of the original, Haru ni Nattara gets stripped down but not enough to make it boring.  There’s still some interesting things like strings and bongos heard in the song and of course miwa having a bigger effect with her vocals and her playing.  It’s a pretty good track and I must say I’d like more of these in the future.

 

 

As miwa’s first entry in her sophomore era, 441 is a pretty good single, but might be slightly dragged because of the A-side because it kind of makes me think this was a cut song from “guitarissimo”.  Chasing hearts and the acoustic take on Haru ni Nattara were pretty awesome though and knowing the big tie-in for the former, that’ll be something I for sure want to see on her next album!