Kurayami Monogatari

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Momoiro Clover Z – The Golden History September 10, 2016

Filed under: Momoiro Clover Z — solarblade @ 4:05 am

thegoldenhistory

Track Listing

  1. The Golden History
  2. DECORATION
  3. Hanabi
  4. Shinruka Soruka
  5. The Golden Histroy (off vocal ver.)
  6. DECORATION (off vocal ver.)
  7. Hanabi (off vocal ver.)
  8. Shinruka Soruka (off vocal ver.)

1. The Golden History

I was curious into how Momoiro would return and The Golden History is a pretty funky and poppy track for the group which is a little bit different to have since their last two eras.  While I still think that vocally they’re a little weaker than what they’ve been at in recent times, I think the fun atmosphere and idol-like sound fits them quite well.  Not quite their strongest A-side they’ve had since debut, but I suppose it passes for the time being.

2. DECORATION

As the first B-side (which also ended up with a PV), DECORATION feels like it continues some of the fukier sounds that “The Golden History” had and I quite thought that was nice and it worked because it’s a bit more upbeat and exciting as a whole.  While the beat is a bit lighter, there’s a lot more brass and bass and the members showcase a much more spazzy feel.  I actually ended up liking this more than the leading song :0

3. Hanabi

As the single does split the 2nd B-side, the regular editions include both hence why I didn’t split tings around.  Hanabi is an interesting song as it leaves the funky arrangements for a stronger mid-tempo ballad.  I thought the Disney-esque verses are pretty to listen to and then leads into this powerful chorus which kind of switched moods and I ended up loving this a lot!  Even the little waltz bit in the second verse added color to the song…wow very impressed here!

4. Shinruka Soruka

The last track from the single, Shinruka Soruka takes the group into more of an EDM style of song and at first I thought it was a bit messy and the beat was counteracting the verses, but it does kind of clean itself up going further in.  It’s a little surprising it’s as straightforward as a song.  It does give me certain “Battle and Romance” vibes, but there’s not too much to say.

 

 

After the dual release of “AMARANTHUS” and “Hakkin no Yoake” at the beginning of the year, I thought the group would take a longer break, but here we are, 7 months later with a new single.  Overall, The Golden History is a pretty decent single overall.  While I’m not too fond of the leading track or Shinruka Soruka, the main highlights are definitely DECORATION & Hanabi (which the latter could be one of their best songs yet!).  Wonder what’s next for them!

 

Momoiro Clover Z – Hakkin no Yoake March 27, 2016

Filed under: Momoiro Clover Z — solarblade @ 3:18 am

hakkinnoyoake

Track Listing

  1. Kono A, Hajimari no Z -prologue-
  2. Tougenkyou
  3. Hakkin no Yoake
  4. Mahalo Vacation
  5. Yume no Ukiyo ni Saitemina
  6. ROCK THE BOAT
  7. Kibou no Mukou e
  8. Country Rose -Toki no Tabibito-
  9. Imagination
  10. MOON PRIDE
  11. “Z” no Chikai
  12. Ai wo Tsugu Mono
  13. Mokkuro ni Naru Hate
  14. Momoiro Sora

1. Kono A, Hajimari no Z -prologue-

Like “AMARANTHUS”, we also begin Hakkin no Yoake with an introductory track with Kono A, Hajimari no Z which is surprisingly long for just an intro at above 2 minutes.  It begins with a nice music box-like melody before the group joins in and the song opens up with synths.  The kind of diluted sound from the girls and overall ethereal tone is pretty neat and ends real nicely.

2. Tougenkyou

Though I wasn’t expecting the sudden movement to Tougenkyou that brings us into this 80’s New Wave sound which is pretty awesome!  The heavy amount of keyboard and synths are cool and if there was anything it reminds me of is something from Charisma.com.  I was a little bummed there was some spoken lines throughout, but the song is refreshing and the synthy goodness made a quick mark on me!

3. Hakkin no Yoake

Surprises me that “AMARANTHUS” lacked a title track.  Though like the third track of that album, Hakkin no Yoake is also a 6 minute track and it’s also quite relaxing of a song at the beginning.  It’s actually startling that like “Monochro Dessen” it’s also a slow burner of a track and by the time the song hits its footing, it deviates from the aforementioned song to become a dance track!  It’s quite a nice switch of moods.  Long song, but totally worth it!

4. Mahalo Vacation

Chosen as the track to promote the album, Mahalo Vacation, I thought was going to be that typical cookie-cutter summer song, but knowing this is MomocloZ, I expected something random.  I love the intro of the song and then it turns into a pretty funky track.  Though there are some small clips of wanting to be a idol summer track, but I feel that slap bass and quickly-sung lyrics keep the song cool and exciting!  Ok, I’m loving this song quite a lot now!

5. Yume no Ukiyo ni Saitemina

Next up is the group’s 3rd A-side for the album and it was a collaboration with American classic rock band, KISS!  While back then I was always bewildered by mixing two different worlds together, I thought the pair did an epic job with this song and kept both sides quite straight!  While I do love “SAMURAI SON” more than this track, I have to say this is the next best thing…one of the standout tracks!

6. ROCK THE BOAT

Back to some more new tracks, ROCK THE BOAT caught my attention, but I’m not sure exactly why (maybe because it’s in all caps).  The tune is pretty nice by having a slight nod 60s music.  I also enjoy the ladies singing lower parts here and the chorus is pretty damn catchy too.  It’s fun and just has the right amount of spaz in it 😀

7. Kibou no Mukou e

Then we hit our first ballad with Kibou no Mukou e and well, it feels like ballads and Momoiro don’t really get along with each other.  I kind of like some of the melody that’s from the keyboards, but otherwise I feel like the track itself is just quite plain-jane.  It does have a nostalgic tone to it, but I’m not sure why.

8. Country Rose -Toki no Tabibito-

The song opens with what I would maybe say is a clock beat, but the song grows into a dance track with a more creepier side to it which is pretty neat and welcome!  I actually liked this track a lot because it just goes everywhere and the group sound great and kept up with is finnicky arrangement and twists and turns throughout!

9. Imagination

Welp, I suppose the album needed its kiddie-like song like what “Saboten to Ribbon” was to “AMARANTHUS”.  I think I do somewhat tolerate this song a little better because the arrangement while childish, is pretty exciting and takes up some different palettes throughout!  I will say things are a bit hyperactive and wild, but this song is actually OK.

10. MOON PRIDE

The next two tracks seem to be paired together due to them being both tied to animes, the first is MOON PRIDE which was a theme to the reboot of Sailor Moon!  It feels like it’s been forever since I’ve listened to this in full!  Of the A-sides, I actually enjoyed it the most I think…  The group is definitely fitting in the girly role and the song’s arrangement would suit alongside other rockish tracks they’ve done.  Interesting song for sure!

11. “Z” no Chikai

The other song, tied to the Dragonball Z series, “Z” no Chikai was the 5th and final A-side before the albums released and it hit hard!  I mean the guitar riffs are just hardcore and yet there’s this feeling of Japan throughout mixed in with some anison thrown in.  I have to say this was such a badass song for the group to tackle and they’ve managed to do it quite well!

12. Ai wo Tsugu Mono

Moving onto the last three tracks, we kick it with Ai wo Tsugu Mono and this would be the throwaway song because it’s just a bit normal of a song on this album.  I kind of sense a little bit of R&B, but it’s overwhelmed by the idol instruments and the chorus which is pretty standard.

13. Mokkuro ni Naru Hate

Though, this track is definitely the oddball song because like “5 THE POWER” from their 2nd album, it’s heavily inspired by 80s rap and it shows throughout the whole song.  While I feel like a MomocloZ song with rapping is nothing without Akari doing it, they tried it and it’s way better than the above mentioned track for sure!  The arrangement is what caught my attention with a cool beat and low bass sound.

14. Momoiro Sora

The album closes out with Momoiro Sora and it’s an interesting style of a mix of funk and jazz and a slight bit of a ballad.  The track is quite something and an interesting way to close the album.  This track is OK, not as extravagant as other songs from the album, but I would say it’s OK for the most part and concluded the album in a nice way.

Tracks Recommended

  • Mahalo Vacation
  • Tougenkyou
  • MOON PRIDE
  • Hakkin no Yoake
  • Mokkuro ni Naru Hate

Song of Avoidance

  • Kibou no Mukou e

So we have the 4th album and after “AMARANTHUS”, I had little hope that the other released album would be much better, but after listening to Hakkin no Yoake, I have to say this was a much stronger album at the end of the day and made me curious to why the effort was placed here more so than on their 3rd.  I have to say, this was what I was expecting from MomocloZ for sure…definitely their best album yet!

 

Momoiro Clover Z – AMARANTHUS

Filed under: Momoiro Clover Z — solarblade @ 12:29 am

amaranthus

Track Listing

  1. embryo -prologue-
  2. WE ARE BORN
  3. Monochro Dessan
  4. Gorilla Punch
  5. Buryoutengen Nakayoshi Monogatari
  6. Katte ni Kimi ni
  7. Seishunfu
  8. Saboten to Ribbon
  9. Demonstration
  10. Bussouge
  11. Naitemo Iin da yo
  12. Guns N’ Diamond
  13. Bye Bye de Sayonara
  14. HAPPY Re:BIRTHDAY

1. embryo -prologue-

Opening the album up is a rather ominous intro track, almost something like it’d fit on their last album, “5TH DIMENSION”.  A heartbeat is heard and the track grows louder and louder with some interesting melodies happening.  It reaches its focal point with some chanting to kind of fit the motif of the cover art, but that quickly ends to our first track!

2. WE ARE BORN

A descending piano opens our first track and WE ARE BORN is something interesting by having a pop/rock sound, but very progressive as things go and I pretty much enjoyed that the most about the tune.  I love the haunting background sound and there’s just a lot of interesting ideas going around.  Definitely a strong first track for the album that’s for sure and a solid choice to promote the album too!

3. Monochro Dessen

Oh boy, a 6 minute track comes next with Monochro Dessen.  Though with a title track like this, I wasn’t expecting this to be more of a ballad track.  I’m liking that each member opens the song with a line to themselves and the track opens up to a more mid-tempo affair though it does become a little more cute and happy-go-lucky astime goes on.  Best part is when the track hits almost 4 minutes in and it gets really upbeat and exciting to listen to…unique song for them and I can see myself enjoying this in the long run.

4. Gorilla Punch

The other promotional song, Gorilla Punch is pretty much in line of their more recent rock offerings and this places the group to sing in a deeper and rougher tone and I quite like MomocloZ this way!  Adding to the motif of the album, there’s some jungle-like moments and the tune moves into different sections of fun.  The chorus is a bit expected, but as a whole, I liked this song too!

5. Buryoutengen Nakayoshi Monogatari

I wasn’t sure what to expect with a title like this, but it does shift things onto a different path by giving us this somewhat odd track.  It’s like a mix of their idol pop sound and some ragtime music which is something the group hasn’t tackled.  It’s very exciting and the beat and melody is so catchy!  It’s ironically my favorite track so far on the album.

6. Katte ni Kimi ni

With an intro like this, I would’ve expected this to open the album.  Out of the songs so far, Katte ni Kimi ni feels like a throwback to some normal idol songs out there with an upbeat arrangement and a slight addition of synths/beats.  Actually it reminds me of “Yuku Haru Kuru Haru” with a stronger emphasis on the electronics, but on AMARANTHUS this feels slightly out of place (and that’s saying something considering who I’m reviewing) though still a solid track!

7. Seishunfu

Finally we run into our first old song on the album and it’s the group’s 4th A-side of the era (I’m saying this because of the whole release scheduling that’s going on).  I definitely remember this A-side due to it being a more lowkey release and the track itself was also a slow burner.  At the time, I wasn’t sure if I cared about the song too much, but on the album it has its place being the ballad here.  Personally, I’m not really the biggest fan of the track, but I like that MomocloZ switched things up.

8. Saboten to Ribbon

Ooh, a song that begins as a march and with fanfares?  Seems a little strange to be putting something like this intro in the middle of the album…however, the song switches heavily into this goofy, child-like atmosphere and I was instantly turned off by it.  There’s just nothing I find interesting about the song and it’s kind of the black sheep of the release.

9. Demonstration

It doesn’t help that our next track opens up like some fantasy-like Disney track lol!  Demonstration opens up with a lengthy dialogue between the members before it opens to a more of what I’d deem it as an anison track.  Without the dialogue, the track itself is pretty decent and has quite a lasting impression.  Makes up for the poor turnout from “Saboten to Ribbon”.

10. Bussouge

Then we slow down again with Bussouge to something a bit more like “Seishunfu” levels of slow.  I’m actually surprised that we’ve got three ballad-like songs on this album.  However, like the A-side, Bussouge also doesn’t really strike me as anything special either…it’s a little too vanilla and forgettable in the long run.

11. Naitemo Iin da yo

Then we hit the 1st single of the era released (strange that “GOUNN” was left off both albums).  This was kind of where the group started to wane as they hit a low point for a lot of fans it seems.  Listening to Naitemo Iin da yo nowadays, the song has a bit of an underlying interest where some of the other A-sides lacked.  Yeah, the song might not be a buckwild as their “5TH DIMENSION” releases, but the pop/rock vibes.  I kind of dig it more than I suppose I did back then.

12. Guns N’ Diamond

What an interesting name for a song huh?  What I wasn’t expecting the song to hit a weird mix of styles that ended up fused together.  I kind of thought from the beginning that the track was going to be in rockabilly style, but it doesn’t even come close as the remainder of the track has this lower pop sound with some elements of the rock genre implemented.  It’s pretty dramatic and I ended up enjoying it a lot!

13. Bye Bye de Sayonara

As we’re nearing the end of the album, we get Bye Bye de Sayonara and I’m not sure what to think of this track either XD.  I like the beat and it’s one of the ore simple songs arrangement-wise.  Sadly, I found the verses to be the more interesting part of the song versus the chorus which felt almost generic.  I really can’t decide where I stand with the track, but it’s not one of the better ones that’s for sure.

14. HAPPY Re:BIRTHDAY

Then we have the album closer with HAPPY Re:BIRTHDAY and it begins nicely enough with a pleasant piano/strings/bass melody that has this uplifting feel to it.  Though I do wonder why a happy birthday song was chosen to be the ending of the album, which begs the question was this necessary?  Not sure why, but birthday songs never caught my attention and this one was no exception.

Tracks Recommended

  • Buryoutengen Nakayoshi Monogatari
  • Guns N’ Diamond
  • Naitemo Iin da yo
  • Katte ni Kimi ni
  • WE ARE BORN

Song of Avoidance

  • Saboten to Ribbon

Interesting that Momoiro Clover Z would go ahead and release their 3rd & 4th album simultaneously (means more songs for fans, but sales-wise, could be odd).  As AMARANTHUS is toted as their 3rd album, I felt this one was slightly lacking and not quite as off the wall as “5TH DIMENSION” or even “Battle and Romance” was.  I will say though that I’m starting to slightly get used to the group’s vocals, still, I’m kind of hoping that “Hakkin no Yoake” is better…

 

Momoiro Clover Z – Koyoi, Live no Moto de January 15, 2016

Filed under: Momoiro Clover Z — solarblade @ 5:04 am

koyoilivenomotode

Track Listing

  1. Koyoi, Live no Moto de
  2. Koyoi, Live no Moto de (off vocal ver.)

1. Koyoi, Live no Moto de

Of course, Momoclo would have to pull out their Winter card for the year and here we have Koyoi, Live no Moto de.  It actually reminds me of past songs, but the acoustic guitar is a nice touch!  I know this isn’t a song the group is going to put out too much effort for (unlike their main singles), but this sounded a bit dated and kind of lame in some places.

 

 

I was wondering why this single was so bare when compared to all of their previous Winter limited singles, but this one was lacking!  I wasn’t really feeling this song and the typical sounds of the season just pulled it down further than it should.  I’m kind of happy it won’t be on any album any time soon.

 

Momoiro Clover Z – “Z” no Chikai

Filed under: Momoiro Clover Z — solarblade @ 4:57 am

znochikai

Track Listing

  1. “Z” no Chikai
  2. Romantic Kongaragatteru
  3. CHA-LA HEAD-CHA-LA (Limited only)
  4. “Z” no Chikai (off vocal ver.)
  5. Romantic Kongaragatteru (off vocal ver.)
  6. CHA-LA HEAD-CHA-LA (off vocal ver.)

1. “Z” no Chikai

I was wondering where the crazy Momoclo went and “Z” no Chikai brings it back at full force.  Being a harder hitting rock song (even more than their mix-up with KISS).  The arrangement just has a powerful arrangement with hard guitars and later on, some shakuhachis thrown into the arrangement.  To some it could be a little messy and the overabundance of the cute vocals might throw a wedge into listening to the entire thing, but I thought it was a great track and the fact it was a love letter to the Dragonball series makes it that much better!

2. Romantic Kongaragatteru

Keeping with the theme of the single, I was a bit confused with the intro being a mix of Japanese sounds and R&B.  As it turns out though, the song kind of becomes this kind of cutesy, but catchy song and the arrangement sounds like it could be used in DBZ (for the more slower moments and where drama isn’t happening).  The R&B elements though are a bit strange, but it does give the group a better time to show off some nicer vocals beyond the squeaks.  Fun song and is definitely one of the more weirder songs out there.

3. CHA-LA HEAD-CHA-LA

Seems like whenever an artist does a theme for the DBZ series, it ends up that at least ONE song is for this one OR “Romantic Ageru yo”.  Now, I love the original and FLOW’s cover it was pretty awesome, but I wasn’t expecting Momoiro Clover Z to step up to the plate for their own version.  I was expecting to be worse, but honestly, they stayed faithful to it and while the chorus isn’t the strong point, it’s still pretty neat.

 

 

Closing out their 3rd & 4th (Yes, their next releases is a dual album “AMARANTHUS” and “Hakkin no Yoake”), “Z” no Chikai closed the era off in a pretty heavy way!  The leading track was not what I was expecting for a DBZ track, but I thought it was edgy and good comeback after “Seishunfu”.  Romantic Kongaragatteru and CHA-LA HEAD-CHA-LA weren’t bad either…if I had to say…this was probably my favorite of the 5 singles representing the upcoming albums!

 

 

Momoiro Clover Z – Seishunfu

Filed under: Momoiro Clover Z — solarblade @ 4:21 am

seishunfu

Track Listing

  1. Seishunfu
  2. Hashire! -Z ver.-
  3. Yuku Haru Kuru Haru
  4. Link Link
  5. Seishunfu (off vocal ver.)
  6. Hashire -Z ver.- (off vocal ver.)
  7. Yuku Haru Kuru Haru (off vocal ver.)
  8. Link Link (off vocal ver.)

1. Seishunfu

Never thought I’d see Momoclo release a ballad for an A-side, but here we are with Seishunfu.  The song is pretty unexpected and all 5 members are singing the song in unison which may or may not interest people (though there are solo lines in it) though there’s also a background choir behind them which helps out the already minimalistic arrangement of just piano and it’s until 2 minutes pass when drums enter the fray.  It’s a bit out there for Momoclo just on a musical level, but I was surprised they took the jump for a more dramatic ballad.

2. Hashire! -Z ver.-

The first B-side is funny enough a self-cover of a B-side from their first major label single, “Ikuze! Kaitou Shoujo”.  Of course the biggest difference is that Akari Hayami is gone, but we still got some other changes like the piano inclusion and rearranged solo lines for the group.  After going on this ride with Momoclo, returning to Hashire! is like going back to when the group wasn’t batshit crazy and just idols that really liked their music.  It’s great they brought this back even if I wasn’t too thrilled with it back then.

3. Yuku Haru Kuru Haru

Considering that the other B-sides and “Seishunfu” were tied to the same movie, I was worried it was going to be a ballad-heavy single.  Yuku Haru Kuru Haru is a much lighter affair than I expected, but it’s not as eye-raising as the A-side.  The arrangement is bright and kind of folksy (a little), and pretty upbeat.  Not going to lie though, the song is actually grown on me immensely and just has this GREAT Springtime feel…what unexpected (but pleasant surprise)!

4. Link Link

I’m not sure if I like whoever opens the song, but unlike the other movie songs, this one is pretty much sounding like a wintry song (which we have plenty of, thanks Momoclo).  This just kind of screams of sugar and cutesy stuffs which is unfortunate since it doesn’t do much for me at all.

 

 

As the 4th single, Seishunfu was quite the departure for the group and like “Naitemo Iin da yo”, something that Momoclo really hasn’t done yet (at least for a leading track).  Seishunfu is interesting being a chorale song and the girls are nice sounding even if they are kind of laying back in the vocals.  Link Link though was pretty generic and boring to me, but the highlights were definitely the update Hashire! and Yuku Haru Kuru Haru for sure…both songs actually did well for me and they sound pretty good in both tracks!

 

Momoiro Clover Z vs. KISS – Yume no Ukiyo ni Saitemina

Filed under: Momoiro Clover Z — solarblade @ 3:17 am

Yume_no_Ukiyo_ni_Saite_Mina

Track Listing

  1. Yume no Ukiyo ni Saitemina
  2. Rock and Roll All Night
  3. SAMURAI SON (KISS edition only)
  4. Yume no Ukiyo ni Saitemina (off vocal ver.)
  5. Rock and Roll All Night (off vocal ver.)
  6. SAMURAI SON (off vocal ver.)

1. Yume no Ukiyo ni Saitemina

I’m not even going to deny that I was shocked when I heard that MomocloZ would collaborate with the Detroit rock band, KISS…wow, I would’ve never expected such a twist.  With two combined forces, I was curious to what was going to ome out of it and I was happily surprised.  KISS always sounds good with their aggressive rock sound.  Momoclo sounds a bit out of place, but that’s to be expected, but they do have KISS do some shouts behind the members.  I mean, it’s easy to get used to the girls and the song has a lot of cool moments throughout.

2. Rock and Roll All Night

Now this is a song I personally grew up listening to (and roughly one of KISS’ most well-known songs).  I wasn’t sure how Momoclo was going to handle it because they’re also singing it entirely in English and hearing idols try to give that edgy tone like how KISS does is pretty strange to me and hearing them singing the chorus is just unfortuately hilarious.  I do commend that KISS still musically sounds great, but never let Momoiro touch this song.

3. SAMURAI SON

While I kind of remember hearing this when KISS released their best album out in the states, I wasn’t aware that they did a version alongside Momoclo (despite that this is only found in one edition of the single).  Unlike the other songs, KISS are taking up the spotlight whereas Momoclo has background lines and I actually enjoying this cut the most from the single…it’s just an epic rock track with some Japanese flashes!

 

 

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this single and I came out if it still kind of curious.  I will say that the main track, Yume no Ukiyo ni Saitemina was a pretty awesome song and featured both acts quite decently.  SAMURAI SON also seemed to work as well kind of switching spots with Momoclo and it’s pretty badass!  However, the only flaw is the KISS cover itself, Momoiro is kind of out of place and the mixing with the metal sound just didn’t work there and came off as silly.