Kurayami Monogatari

Would love a comment every so often <<

MONKEY MAJIK – Story February 13, 2014

Filed under: MONKEY MAJIK — solarblade @ 6:56 pm

story

Track Listing

  1. Story
  2. little things

1. Story

The group seems to really like their light songs nowadays don’t they?  Story is one of those and we’re back to Blaise leading the song and his voice seems sometimes weird to listen to when it comes to these kind of mid-tempo ballads and sadly it does sound a lot like tons of stuff from “westview” which didn’t do much for me in the positive kind of way.  Just a forgetful song overall.

2. little things

Of course they follow it up with another SHORT B-side.  Though the song is led by Maynard and I was surprised that the song was predominantly just him (later on with Blaise) and ukelele (with light percussion).  As simple the song is and how short it was, it was cute, but not their best B-side.

 

 

Ending the “DNA” era, Story kind of dropped the ball a bit.  As much as I enjoyed “If”, Story was just kind of a throwaway single since the leading track is kind of just a typical MOMAJIK album song to me that it just didn’t stand out and little things was cute, but short and kind of a fly by of a song.  I hope their album doesn’t end up as bland as I think it will…

 

MONKEY MAJIK – If February 20, 2013

Filed under: MONKEY MAJIK — solarblade @ 10:24 pm

if

Track Listing

  1. If
  2. The Apprentice

1. If

I wasn’t sure what MOMAJIK were up to after “A Christmas Song” but it seems they’re returning with If and boy the fact that Maynard is leading the track has got me feeling quite happy.  The song itself is still kind of that sappy kind of feel, but this actually has some electric guitars and a bit more oomph than previous songs they’ve released.  I kind of really enjoyed this song for being a bit more progressive for the band and we had got something besides a mid-tempo kind of track.

2. The Apprentice

So I assumed that since the A-side was Maynard-heavy, Blaise took up the B-side this time.  Also, it’s entirely in English which might be the smartest since they did release “ENGLISH BEST” and all that.  I kind of like this song as well since it’s quite like “If” but with more strings.  It’s pretty cool and Blaise actually made the song work (with Maynard singing the chorus).  Not bad!

After “A Christmas Song” I wasn’t exactly sure what was happening with MOMAJIK honestly, but with If they’re still doing pretty damn well for themselves.  I love that FINALLY we get a Maynard A-side and it turned out really awesomely for them.  The Apprentice also turned out pretty damn well and I’m surprised that this wasn’t a double A-side because both were just good representations of the band!  Good job!

 

MONKEY MAJIK + Kazumasa Oda – A Christmas Song December 6, 2012

Filed under: MONKEY MAJIK — solarblade @ 2:40 am

achristmassong

Track Listing

  1. A Christmas Song
  2. Let It Snow Let It Snow Let It Snow
  3. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

1. A Christmas Song

In the spirit of the season, MONKEY MAJIK decided to collaborate for their next single alongside Kazumasa Oda.  The track is quite We hear everyone singing in the song which is a nice tune and simple for everyone to sing.  I guess I was kind of expecting somethnig a little more from the track but it’s charming but honestly I wanted to hear more of Maynard lol.  Once Kazumasa joins in his voice sounds odd but good…strange song I guess lol.

2. Let It Snow Let It Snow Let It Snow

The rest of the single is only sung by MOMAJIK and sung entirely in English.  Add in that both tracks are Christmas classics and you get a really good set.  The first is quite catchy and hearing both Blaise and Maynard (though Blaise is singing more).  It’s a pretty damn short tune though which is acceptable because the original isn’t a long song either.  I love the jazzy arrangement and both members sound delightful as they say in this song XD.  Great little track!

3. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

YAY MAYNARD finally opening a track.  As the second of the well-known Christmas songs, Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas is the ballad of the single and it’s just a really slow and yet nostalgic song for me.  The fact that this is a Maynard solo also pleases me because he sounds so good doing these quiet ballads.  Definitely a good thing to listen to!

 

 

Even though I doubt this single is the first for an era, A Christmas Song is a really pleasant single from MOMAJIK (though I doubt the two Japanese members had any part in this).  A Christmas Song is a good collaboration though but I felt that the B-sides really made the singles.  I loved the first ones joyous nature and the hearing that Maynard solo made it work for me as well.  Overall a good single ^_^

 

MONKEY MAJIK – Somewhere Out There March 9, 2012

Filed under: MONKEY MAJIK — solarblade @ 8:34 pm

Track Listing

  1. Headlight
  2. Black Hole
  3. White Noise
  4. U.F.O
  5. Go with U
  6. RAIN
  7. Ashiato
  8. My Home Town
  9. Tobira
  10. HERO
  11. Ki wo Ueta Otoko

1. Headlight

I’m a little surprised that Headlight ended up getting a second PV which also led me to believe it was a new version of the song.  Luckily, this isn’t the case as the song has not been changed.  The first A-side of the era, Headlight kicks the album off on a rather sullen start even though the lyrics are one of a hopeful kind.  I still do love the song as much as I did last year and stands out in my mind by them.  Great song, great song.

2. Black Hole

I was curious to how the album tracks would be like.  Oddly enough, Black Hole kind of kicks the album into gear and I was surprised at this since it’s upbeat and has weird things going on like some high notes and some pitch-shifting (the latter is mostly in the beginning).  It’s a little odd for me to listen to it since I’m not used to such a happy upbeat song from the band but it’s different and I like that about it.

3. White Noise

Funny that white opposites to black XD.  Anyway, our next song starts with Maynard and acoustic-based feel to it.  I love the chilled out feel of the song and funny enough I don’t hear Japanese at all in this song which makes this is a pretty good song to get settled into.  To be honest, I’m liking Maynard leading the song more than Blaise this time around since his vocals is a little easier to emote lol.  Another good one here!

4. U.F.O

Oh at the title LOL.  It starts with a speaking monologue from someone (who I personally think is Blaise).  There’s something about it that sticks out to me.  It’s probablly the fact that if it was released in America, it’d be pretty popular for some reason even though it is nerdy lyrically.  It’s pretty catchy and different for the band!

5. Go with U

They move into peppy stuff with Go with U since it’s a little more faster and the atmosphere is much more happier which is a good thing here.  Go with U is also an English-only track which is a nice thing to be here as well since I can connect better.  While I do think “U.F.O” left a better mark on me, this is actually not a bad song either.  Kind of catchy here.

6. RAIN

It’s nice to take a chill pill on the album and RAIN is pretty sufficient in the way that it’s calming things down with a lighter acoustic arrangement and mixing a lighter vibe into it as well.  It’s pretty different from your normal kind of song actually and kind of bridges into the band’s more airy and softer songs so it does its job very well IMO.

7. Ashiato

Adding strings into the workings for Ashiato was a nice idea and it worked for this ballad on the album.  Both guys melodically sound amazing and they seamlessly sing through both languages and it feels so natural for them which is always a plus in my book.  My biased look on ballads do make this a hard listen but it sounds pleasant.

8. My Home Town

I guess we haven’t totally jumped into ballads I guess.  My Home Town is kind of a bit more like R&B mixed with their acoustic vibes and such.  Even though I hadn’t paid a lot of attention, half the time I felt like they said ~my hotel~ but it could be spaced out mood lol.  I will say that it’s sounding a bit sentimental from the lyrics but it’s a nice thing for em.  It’s pretty sweet of a song but I do think there’s better songs on the album.

9. Tobira

So the lone B-side of the era actually made the album’s cut, then again it would’ve felt a bit lonely if it didn’t XD.  Maynard once again leads the song and while still do think it has a “westview” feel to it, it kind of works being towards the end of the album.  It’s pleasant and relaxing for sure but it feels kind of like I’m listening to a couple of other songs on this album but it’s still worthy to be on the album.

10. HERO

As the second A-side, I felt that HERO still isn’t at the same level as “Headlight” was but I’m OK with that.  However on the album, this kind of is rather forgetful but it has a really nice message in it some it’s kind of making me sit on the fence with it.  Not saying it’s terrible of a song but it’s definitely not as memorable as a lot of the songs on here.

11. Ki wo Ueta Otoko

Ahhh, the final song on the album, Ki wo Ueta Otoko finishes things off on a simple note it seems since it’s mostly acoustic guitar in the song.  It’s weird once again because Maynard sounds really nice and light but then Blaise comes in and ruins the moment with his first line to be honest.  Besides that, it does get better and it’s pretty heartfelt and pleasant all-around.  I actually can remember this melody a lot more strongly than “HERO”.

Tracks Recommended

  • Headlight
  • U.F.O
  • White Noise
  • Ki wo Ueta Otoko
  • Go with U

Song of Avoidance

  • HERO

Wow, I was pretty much happy with this album.  Taking the boredom out of “westview”, Somewhere Out There was anything but boring (maybe a little at the end) but this album felt a lot more bright and alive which is a total 180 from the more laidback and relaxed form of their last album.  Not much bad could be really said here, but this was a good album *RECOMMENDED*

 

MONKEY MAJIK – HERO January 24, 2012

Filed under: MONKEY MAJIK — solarblade @ 7:15 pm

Track Listing

  1. HERO
  2. HERO -English version-
  3. Headlight -DJ Mitsu the Beats remix-

1. HERO

I like how the tune starts with Blaise and Maynard opening the song acapella style.  Unlike “Headlight”, this is more of a traditional ballad from them but I have to say I really like hearing the two singing since their vocals are great for this song (even though it’s still a Blaise-fest).  It’s not as strong of a song like “Headlight” was, but it’s pretty solid of a song.

2. HERO -English version-

Like it says, it’s in English and otherwise it’s not really all that different musically so it’s just a shift of lyrics.  Even though I’m kind of surprised that it’s 10 seconds longer…wht?  I will say that it’s easier for Westerners because it’s easier to understand the song.  It’s actually quite romantic and deep which is typically MOMAJIK’s best assets!  I think I’d rather listen to this version.

3. Headlight -DJ Mitsu the Beats remix-

Talking about Headlight, we get a remix of the song, (y’know, the same guys that remixed “Aishiteru” a while ago).  Headlight got toned down quite a bit and seems like it’s a lullaby…odd.  It wasn’t resung either so it’s just a little bland actually.  It just took out what made the original awesome…

 

 

MOMAJIK’s HERO isn’t quite as up to snuff like “Headlight” was but that’s alright.  I will say that I enjoyed the English version of HERO a tad bit more than the Japanese version but I’m it’s just because I can understand it better that way.  The remix though for Headlight shouldn’t have happened IMO…I could’ve lived without it haha.

 

MONKEY MAJIK – Headlight October 31, 2011

Filed under: MONKEY MAJIK — solarblade @ 8:10 am

Track Listing

  1. Headlight
  2. Tobira
  3. Headlight -piano version-

1. Headlight

I thought the intro of Headlight was so cute and then all of a sudden we get Blaise’s vocals into the song which is by then classified into something more strings-based.  It’s nice to also hear Maynard with some solo lines before the chorus where they melodically come together.  It’s a pretty cool song and it’s nice to hear the members sing in both Japanese and English.  It’s quite something!

2. Tobira

As the B-side of the single Tobira is more focused on the acoustics (kind of like what most of “westview” ended up sounding).  It’s a simple kind of tune and since Maynard sings majority in this song, I found myself enjoying the light pop feel of the tune.  It’s a short but pleasant little tune from the duo but it’s so much better when Maynard leads.

3. Headlight -piano version-

Eh, I honestly didn’t think that Headlight really needed a piano version of the song since it doesn’t really gain much of anything except that it’s a minute longer and only features Blaise on vocals which is a little strange.  To me, Blaise’s vocals sound alright, but those high notes are just a little harsh on his vocals.  I just like the melodic sound of the original much more!

 

 

I honestly didn’t even know that MONKEY MAJIK were gonna release this single until I saw it on KMC (it’s a download site).  Headlight kind of surprised me because I enjoyed this song since it did go away from the acoustic pop feel from “westview”.  Both Headlight and Tobira were pretty good tunes but to me I felt the piano version was just a little unecessary since it took out the good things about the original!  Overall, this wasn’t that bad ^_^

 

MONKEY MAJIK – westview February 22, 2011

Filed under: MONKEY MAJIK — solarblade @ 5:48 am

Track Listing

  1. Angel
  2. The Man You Were
  3. Sunshine
  4. Yume no Sekai
  5. Mahou no Kotoba
  6. Runaway
  7. Disco Girl
  8. Wonderland
  9. Everything is going to be alright
  10. the party’s over
  11. One Day
  12. Safari
  13. If I Knew
  14. HALO

1. Angel

Opening MOMAJIK’s album up, Angel quickly gets into things quickly and while it sounds pretty much basic against the things I’ve heard from the previous to the album and Angel is soft and easy to enjoy.  Of course Blaise is singing of course and his sounds just like he has been in the singles, but I don’t find it so bad.  It’s a very simple song for me and it’s not a bold attempt to kick the album off.

2. The Man You Were

As you guess, we get into the album’s shortest song off the album and The Man You Were is sung by Maynard which is a nice surprise for once.  Of course since the song is fully in English, there’s not many problems going on and I loved the combination of the brothers together.  Suffice to say, it’s a good song, but short.

3. Sunshine

I found it very weird that MOMAJIK only really added one A-side to the album (OK, I know there was a best-of album through it…but seriously?).  Since there’s no other A-side to compare to really, it’s alright…but the singles promoting the best-of were so much better than Sunshine.  Of course Blaise leads the song of course, but Iono…there’s just something missing for me in the song, but I like the kind of rapping feel it has.  It’s alright for the time being.

4. Yume no Sekai

As the album’s promotional track, Yume no Sekai is the album’s first ballad and of course I’m kind of torn between this song since it’s pretty, but Blaise’s Japanese is kind of odd to listen to…it might because he’s so white and such.  I’m not fully into MOMAJIK ballads for the most part and this kind of made me bored…but I can see where people would enjoy it.

5. Mahou no Kotoba

Maynard returns to lead a song with Mahou no Kotoba and the song gives the song a much relaxed feeling and is that him singing a bit faster than I thought so?  It gets even cooler when he starts to singin in English in the second and mixing it with Blaise.  It’s a good track for sure.

6. Runaway

Kind of taking on a similar feel that “Mahou no Kotoba” had, Runaway doesn’t do too much to fully stand out for me, but it’s still not so bad since the English lines are pretty good to the ears.  Blaise’s singing does feel a little out of place in various areas…but whatever hahaha.

7. Disco Girl

Finally we get something that has a lot of things going for it, Disco Girl is the first thing that feels edgy from the group since “MONSTER”.  I do love they chose to sing this in English since the lyrics are pretty cool and has a lot of flow to it.  While there’s not a lot of Maynard really, this is still one of the album’s better songs.

8. Wonderland

Whenever we get titles like this, it makes me think of sugary songs.  MOMAJIK’s Wonderland is a bit cute and oddly enough give me similarities to Plain White T’s “Rhythm of Love” since there’s not a lot of the band and has an acousitc feel that gives off a feelgood atmosphere.  Besides the weird case of dejavu, Wonderland’s not that bad and does Blaise very well.

9. Everything is going to be alright

I guess “Sunshine” wasn’t enough for the band to have a summery kind of song.  Everything is going to be alright seems to sound more like a love song though and I thought it was pretty cute to have a song like this…but honestly, Maynard would’ve been more perfect for a song like this for some reason. 

10. the party’s over

So we go back down to acoustic happiness ala “Wonderland” with the party’s over?  I’ve kind of enjoyed this song since Maynard leads the song instead and while he doesn’t fully sound interested in the song as much as Blaise did in said song, he doesn’t do half bad. 

11. One Day

Omg, synths in a song that isn’t “Sunshine”?  One Day feels so good and refreshing after a lot of the songs that didn’t really pull my attention from the album.  I like the amount of mixtures between the Plant brothers and Blaise sounds a lot better than he has been.  Pretty song overall and one of my favorites.

12. Safari

Another acoustic track pops up next in Safari and it does kind of have this African adventure kind of feel to it that I enjoyed a lot a bit and hey, a return of the guys in Japanese!  While at first I had trouble distinguishing who was singing, it turned to be Blaise.  Could it almost sound like a little folkish?  It’s an enjoyable soft song and one I could see myself repeating over and over again in listens.

13. If I Knew

I think If I Knew feels like a parallel to “Safari” since Maynard leads this instead and the mood and arranging styles are similar to one another.  Maynard’s softer vocals fit the mood of the song entirely and I just loved how smooth and soft and just relaxing it came off as.  Definitely is a song that speaks to me so hehehe!

14. HALO

Closing the album, HALO definitely fits the idea of closing westview up on a good note.  To me, it does seem slightly familiar to “One Day” with the piano being the main focal point of the song’s arrangement.  It wraps up the album nicely and since Blaise closes the album, it was a good song for so.

Tracks Recommended

  • If I Knew
  • Safari
  • Disco Girl
  • One Day
  • The Man You Were

Song of Avoidance

  • Yume no Sekai

I don’t know what is it, but I liked a lot of the singles I reviewed on the site and yet…3 of the 4 singles never got added on the album because of the best-of album that was released beforehand.  I’ll be honest, the album songs didn’t live up to my expectations because I was hoping for stuff that was done through the singles.  It felt too soft for me for most of it and while I like Blaise, Maynard NEEDS MORE SONGS!…I know about blanc., but still…