Kurayami Monogatari

Would love a comment every so often <<

moumoon – It’s Our Time August 21, 2015

Filed under: moumoon — solarblade @ 5:26 am

itsourtime

Track Listing

  1. It’s Our Time
  2. Never look back
  3. IROIRO
  4. I’m Scarlet
  5. Eclipse
  6. Fight Back
  7. cocoon
  8. ICE CANDY
  9. WATASHINOSUBETE
  10. BF
  11. Hello, shooting-star
  12. It’s Our Time (English version) (CD only)

1. It’s Our Time

~We’re all set to have fun~ yeah that’s a really nice and straightforward way to open the album.  The tune is a bit strange because it starts with a lack of bass before YUKA comes in for the first verse and that’s when we finally get it.  I just think it’s a quirky little tune and has its moments, but there’s some better songs from the duo out there.

2. Never look back

Onto the next track, Never look back focuses a little more on Masaki’s acoustic sound and I do tend to like this kind of track.  The chorus does open up to a more synth-centric sound (ala “It’s Our Time”), but I do like the bright sound and YUKA once again sounds chirpy and effervescent altogether and I always enjoy that from her.

3. IROIRO

I feel like moumoon is just trying to be happy-go-lucky (like “SPARK”) with this album so far.  IROIRO is kind of like the previous track but taking a more piano-laced direction (alongside the acoustic guitar).  Add the sparkling sounds from “DREAMER DREAMER” and you basically get this laidback track.  Not bad, but YUKA is in her higher register for majority of it.

4. I’m Scarlet

As the 1st single represented from the album, I’m Scarle was an actual decent track when I first reviewed it.  I’m slightly still melting from this song because it was such a good, relaxing track.  After “IROIRO” though, the light atmosphere is slightly stretching, but I do love the song’s chorus because it just kind of wakes me up and YUKA sings in a stronger tone (and that kind of call and response direction)…still a great song!

5. Eclipse

Then things come to a slow pace with our next track, Eclipse.  This track starts off with some light piano (and other instrumentation) to YUKA’s ethereal voice adding in the spacing between the piano.  It’s a slightly haunting ballad, but the chorus kind of shakes off the dust and adds drums which kind of took out the feeling I got from the verses.  Basically, the verses are amazing while the chorus is somewhat disappointing.

6. Fight Back

With such an aggressive title, I wasn’t sure what I was getting into, but the song is actually an EDM track and strangely I hear both YUKA and Masaki singing together with this really interesting synth melody (and beat).  It’s a simple sounding track, but it’s mesmerizing…just a dreamy vocal melody mixed with electro…is interesting (plus that bridge) that was pretty cool and something I haven’t heard moumoon do.  Cool song overall!

7. cocoon

Seems the EDM continues onto cocoon which is set up to be a stronger club-friendly song and I’m enjoying that moumoon are finally trying new ideas for their songs.  It’s a really cool setting and hearing YUKA do some interesting things (like a speak/rap section and singing in a stronger tone through some parts).  I just found this track epic and sticks out on the album in a REALLY good way.

8. ICE CANDY

This seems really weird that the duo decided to include ICE CANDY (the only new song from their best album…of the same name).  It’s a lot like the stuff featured on that album (mostly takes ideas from “LOVE before we DIE”) with the kind of pop/rock mixed with synths and such.  I wasn’t a big fan of this song mostly because it kind of faded into the album which had some many similar songs.  On this album though, it seems strange to put it after “cocoon” but for some reason I’m able to recall it better here.  It’s a filler track though.

9. WATASHINOSUBETE

As the last new track, I was expecting a little more from a song titled in all caps and no spaces xD.  What we did end up with an acoustic ballad that made “Eclipse” sound stronger and more fulfilled.  YUKA’s voice is nice and the light backing instrumentation tries to lift the song from boredom, but I was just snoozing here.

10. BF

Interesting that they’d only include one B-side here and it’s from the A-side that closes the album.  I find its placement just a tad weird, especially after “WATASHINOSUBETE”, but I could’ve seen it towards the album or even more after “ICE CANDY”.  Sadly, while I did enjoy it on the single, I think it’s just forgetful here because there’s other good happy songs.

11. Hello, shooting-star

The album closes out with Hello, shooting-star and it’s lullaby-esque arrangement is really sweet and relaxing to listen to, but at this point I kind of lost interest in the album and this song had trouble picking me up as the final song.

12. It’s Our Time (English version)

I’m not sure why this was necessary when the song was 80% in English.  It’s the same arrangement and same lyrics except for those small parts where YUKA was singing in Japanese.  Though, I suppose it could be nice to have around for completionists.

Tracks Recommended

  • cocoon
  • Fight Back
  • I’m Scarlet
  • Never look back

Song of Avoidance

  • WATASHINOSUBETE

Ahhh, moumoon’s 6th album just turned out a lot like how I felt with “LOVE before we DIE”.  What I mean the great songs were basically the ones recommended, but the rest was kind of plain and just normal moumoon fare.  I was expecting a little better, but meh overall.

 

moumoon – Hello, shooting-star March 5, 2015

Filed under: moumoon — solarblade @ 8:23 pm

helloshootingstar

Track Listing

  1. Hello, shooting-star
  2. BF

1. Hello, shooting-star

Ahhhh, how relaxing is moumoon sometimes, they just make sweet slow songs and even if recently they’ve been more upbeat, it’s great to see the duo go back to something light and slow such as Hello, shooting-star.  I love the pacing here and it’s just nice to hear YUKA’s voice lulling me to a calm state of mind in songs like these.  Add on Masaki’s acoustic guitar lines and it’s just a simple, but pleasant overall tune.

2. BF

Then of course we have an opposite with the B-side and BF is a more upbeat giving from them.  The fact that the song is about best friends and the friendship in between two people is so cute and it helps that YUKA is singing the song entirely in English which adds that bit of sheer cuteness here.  More adorable than the A-side that’s for sure lol!

 

 

moumoon’s 2nd single in this era was pretty simple, yet so cute and so them overall.  Hello, shooting-star is a nice and dreamy tune that still continues to show that the duo can really make ballads all their own and it was a cute and relaxing song.  BF on the other hand amped up on the cute factor by singing about friendships and the like…maybe a little too sugary cute, but moumoon’s cute songs have mostly rode on that line of cute and too cute.  It’ll be interesting to see what they’re next album will turn out to be like.

 

moumoon – I’m Scarlet August 27, 2014

Filed under: moumoon — solarblade @ 4:02 am

im scarlet

Track Listing

  1. I’m Scarlet
  2. Akai Telecaster
  3. I’m Scarlet (instrumental)
  4. Akai Telecaster (instrumental)

1. I’m Scarlet

Wow, didn’t think moumoon would be back so quickly after “ICE CANDY”.  The leading song I’m Scarlet is one of their more softer sung songs and I personally think it’s a nice change from their poppy songs they’ve been releasing.  I really like the relaxing atmosphere of the tune and YUKA sounds really pretty as usual, especially in the chorus where she does a call and response kind of thing and one side is mostly English ^_^.  Overall, it’s a definite nice song from the duo and was happy it was the A-side.

2. Akai Telecaster

On the other hand, we have Akai Telecaster which is kind of their poppier side which made sense to have and was nice to know it was relegated to not being the main song here.  I personally couldn’t remember this song much though since while it’s more upbeat than “I’m Scarlet”, it just seemed to lack something like excitement and a direction.  The chorus is rather catchy, but it still doesn’t leave much of an impression.

 

 

Like I said I wasn’t expecting the duo to release a single so soon after their best album.  With I’m Scarlet it was a pretty neat mid-tempo track with some beautiful melodies in it.  I really found myself just enjoying what we got.  Akai Telecaster though felt a little lifeless and didn’t stand out amongst the other upbeat tunes.  Wondering what moumoon will pull for the future releases.

 

moumoon – Jewel June 2, 2014

Filed under: moumoon — solarblade @ 5:08 am

jewel

Track Listing

  1. Jewel
  2. Super Sweet Spring Medley
  3. Jewel (instrumental)

1. Jewel

I was surprised moumoon released a single so soon after “LOVE before we DIE”, but here we are with Jewel.  To me, the song kind of has this certain “PAIN KILLER” sound with the clapping beats and guitarwork.  I’m enjoying the different ideas they throw in the song for sure and YUKA does a pretty good job keeping up with the different beats and keeping the happy energy going.  I was actually enjoying the song a lot!

2. Super Sweet Spring Medley

  • “Love is Everywhere”
  • Sunshine Girl
  • Chu Chu
  • Bon Appetit
  • Emerald no Oka
  • LOVE before we DIE
  • Tomodachi / Koibito
  • moonlight

What is it with moumoon and medleys?  Well at least I didn’t have to search what songs were used and it seems it’s mostly the popular songs that are actually involved here.  Granted, it’s a long medley with nice transitions into the next song.  Still, I just can’t get the fact that most of these tracks are going to be on “ICE CANDY” so this is kind of more of a digest for a best album…

 

 

As the lone single coming before the duo’s first best album, “ICE CANDY” I think Jewel missed the mark.  Granted, I love Jewel for what it is and makes a great A-side, but I think their could’ve been more to the single besides a medley (since moumoon has done them many times before as it is).  I think there could’ve been more to this single.  BTW, I’m really disappointed on ICE CANDY, seriously…only songs that were released after “Sunshine Girl”? *sigh*

 

moumoon – LOVE before we DIE February 11, 2014

Filed under: moumoon — solarblade @ 7:19 am

lovebeforewedie

Track Listing

  1. Emerald no Oka
  2. I Say You Say I ♥ You
  3. Baby Goodbye
  4. Will you?
  5. Yesterday today and Tomorrow (Mukiryoku Doumei Shoubonnu)
  6. Butterfly Boyfriend
  7. IN THE END
  8. memento
  9. Everyday
  10. LOVE before we DIE
  11. Lovin’ You (bonus track)
  12. Memories (bonus track)

1. Emerald no Oka

Starting the album, we have the first of a couple digital singles that were released (yeah, no physical singles represent the album >.>).  Things start off quick paced with Emerald no Oka but it also sounds almost experimental mixed with moumoon’s normal style.  I’m also loving YUKA’s energy in the song, it’s refreshing and just has interesting parts to it.  Interesting but a good way to begin the album.

2. I Say You Say I ♥ You

Another digital single released, but it was like shortly before the album did.  I Say You Say I ♥ You definitely has a certain “PAIN KILLER” vibe to it which is nice to hear.  YUKA’s voice is on the higher register for a good portion and she handled it well.  I actually found the song to be a bit more enjoyable than the opening song.  Definitely one of the album’s shining moments!

3. Baby Goodbye

Into some actual new songs, Baby Goodbye tones things down to more of a mid-tempo pop/rock track that actually kind of sounds slightly bland to my ears but I love how YUKA’s singing sounds playful a bit and she sounds stronger than the previous tracks.  I don’t know why but this song just kind of flew over my head.

4. Will you?

Moving on, we go into Will you? and it’s more of the same, but this one has a little more fire in its furnace being a tad bit more dramatic and aggressive.  I will say YUKA is pushing for them high notes all over this song and it kind of actually bothered me a tad.  I think it would’ve been better had she sung in her lower register rather than what we got.

5. Yesterday today and Tomorrow (Mukiryoku Doumei Shoubonnu)

It seems the next track is rather cutesy and I loved hearing YUKA singing in the song because she adds a really nice child-like atmosphere but also keeps it pleasant to listen to.  Oddly enough, it sounds like a Vanessa Carlton song almost with it’s chilled out feel, but poppy feel.  It’s nice but like “Baby Goodbye”, it also flew over my head.

6. Butterfly Boyfriend

I was wondering when the album would pickup again and I think Butterfly Boyfriend might be the song to do that.  It’s also another song that sounds really cute with a constant synth boop that acts as the backbone of the song.  I get kind of dejavu moments to “moonlight” when I’m listening to the song, but I love the synths the most especially when they go up and down in a wave motion.  It’s a really nice song and brought my attention back after the last few songs.

7. IN THE END

What a random intro to our next track, IN THE END.  I like the fact that YUKA is singing under some vocal filters for some of the song as it calls for a little more of that 80s punk sound almost and it’s got a catchy beat to it lol.  Though I could deal with less of the ~la, la, la, la-ing~ that’s going on as it feels so hokey and almost could’ve been a good chorus had it not gone in that direction.  I’m kind of uncertain about this song at the moment…plus it fades out to where it’s only YUKA and who I think is Kousuke singing alongside as it closes out…hmmm.

8. memento

I was wondering when we’d get that very atmospheric moumoon song and it turns out that we get that in memento and OMG it’s pretty!  I love the arrangement about it and hearing YUKA sound so ethereal and spacey is just pretty.  Though you have to go through 1:30 of spoken dialogue before YUKA starts to sing.  The synths kind of go to the wayside and the song is primarily YUKA, piano, cello?, and a little bit of some scattering synths.  It’s a unique song that’s for sure.

9. Everyday

Another slow song as we move towards the ending.  Everyday in comparison to most of the songs is pretty basic where it’s only YUKA and acoutic/electric guitar.  I suppose it’s a little more heartfelt of a song and tries to kind of lyrically set itself alongside “Aoi Tsuki to Ambivalence na Ai” which I suppose is nice, but it’s really hard to top that as it is.  It’s OK, but nothing amazing overall.

10. LOVE before we DIE

Fitting that the album would end with the title track.  For as dramatic as the art cover was, I thought we were going to get a heartbreaking ballad, but it seems this is more pop/rock and uptempo which is great beause it fuses strings with guitars and I’m loving this a lot.  It was definitely a great choice to promote for the album since it kind of stands as the best on the album strangely enough, though that ending was a tad abrupt lol.

11. Lovin’ You

Seems so odd that there’s two bonus tracks to this album.  The first was released digitally back in October and it’s a cover of Minnie Riperton’s classic hit!  Originally, the song was a nature-friendly ballad, but moumoon’s take is more danceable and bouncy.  Of course the song is also known for that uber whistle note and seems that YUKA took the safe route by taking it down an octive.  Overall, it’s not bad of a cover and honestly has a lot more personality than some of the other tracks.

12. Memories

The other bonus track is actually a theme tied to One Piece and it actually reminds me of “DREAMER DREAMER” with that intro and kind of sense of the guitar arrangement.  It suits as a song meant to end the album, but it’s strange it was just a bonus XD.  The song is nice and YUKA sounds pretty strong here as in none of those thin high notes.  You can definitely tell anison was all over this but still a good ending nonetheless.

Tracks Recommended

  • LOVE before we DIE
  • I Say You Say I ♥ You
  • Butterfly Boyfriend
  • memento
  • Lovin’ You

Song of Avoidance

  • Will you?

If there was one thing I had to say about moumoon’s 5th album, it has to be unfortunately dull.  There’s just some missing in the magic of moumoon this time around and I can’t put my finger what that might be.  The good songs on the album is really the tracks recommended basically…everything else felt like it was missing something or there was something that I couldn’t get into.  Though I can tell YUKA is trying to sound more broad.  Some of it is good, but the rest wasn’t all that memorable.

 

moumoon – PAIN KILLER February 10, 2013

Filed under: moumoon — solarblade @ 3:18 pm

painkiller

Track Listing

  1. DREAMER DREAMER (PAIN KILLER ver.)
  2. Vanitas
  3. Help Me
  4. PAIN
  5. Hanabi
  6. Midori no Michi
  7. Utsukushii Hito
  8. Anniversary
  9. “Love is Everywhere”
  10. Never Enough
  11. Doko e mo Ikanai yo
  12. Flowers (Acoustic ver.) (CD only bonus track)

1. DREAMER DREAMER (PAIN KILLER ver.)

As the last A-side released before the album, I was quite worried about what changes were made to DREAMER DREAMER because I seriously loved this track!  The only difference that the PAIN KILLER version has over is that the song has a different introduction, but beyond that, the song remained entirely the same!  I really thought that DREAMER DREAMER is one of those songs that really definie what moumoon are all about and I was happy that it opened the album up!

2. Vanitas

The next track up is bolded because it was released digitally before “DREAMER DREAMER/Doke e mo Ikanai yo” was released.  I thought it was great seeing the duo include this track since it is one of the slower songs they did for the era (although kind of strange seeing it come after something upbeat this early in the album).  YUKA’s vocals sound so light and bright.  It’s just a really good ballad…not as dramatic as some others in the past, but I can be happily listening to this one!

3. Help Me

I found it strange that Help Me is the shortest track on the album (only barely passing 2 1/2 minutes).  I suppose this was kind of the replacement for “Wild Child” which is oddly missing from the album.  What I meant is that Help Me is more along the rock side of the spectrum but still has that playful tone to it.  I really do like it, but it felt so damn short!  I think YUKA really did well here!

4. PAIN

Strange we’re slowing back to once again to get into the title track and I kind of figured the song was going to be dark and a bit more dramatic than it actually did.  Though the lyrics will say otherwise and YUKA emotes quite perfectly here and she sounds heavenly as well!  I do think there’s other ballads that are better from moumoon, but this isn’t half bad!

5. Hanabi

The follow “PAIN” up with another ballad?  That might be hard for listeners to pay attention but I actually liked Hanabi (the 2nd A-side representing the album).  To me, this ballad really takes the cake for me because it’s VERY beautiful and YUKA sounds just delightful to listen to.  A lot stronger than most of the songs on this album too!  I just felt like sailing on a boat at night listening to this.  Great track!

6. Midori no Michi

As the only B-side to make the album cut (and it also got a PV on the album), Midori no Michi might be stretching the slow songs a bit even though I’m coming off my high from “Hanabi”.  That said, the song doesn’t resonate with me much here as much as it did on the single.  I do think it has a certain “15 Doors” kind of sound which is a nice throwback, but it just flew past me in the long run.

7. Utsukushii Hito

As the promotional song for the album, I was curious to what Utsukushii Hito brought to the table and sadly it’s another ballad to deal with which at this point, I’m getting tired of and starting to lose focus on the album.  I can say that this song sounds more mellow and tries to follow songs of the past like “Aoi Tsuki to Ambivalance na Ai” which the dramatic orchestral feel which does make it stand out and YUKA once again sounding powerful!  Even the English lines slightly parallel their awesome ballad of the past…it’s kind of freaky, but at the same time smart!  Of the ballads in this area, this and “Hanabi” rank high for me.

8. Anniversary

At least we finally exit the slow parts for a little while and move onto something peppy like Anniversary which kind of takes up the cute, sparkly pop tune.  It is quite a 180 coming after “Utsukushii Hito” in terms of emotional tone but I kind of like this tune.  It’s like lipgloss with glitter in it.  Has a lot going on and just feels so polished (maybe a little too much).  It’s kind of overbearing at times for me to listen to all this cuteness.

9. “Love is Everywhere”

Which is strange because this song is ADORABLE!  However, this song is bloody fuckin’ amazing!  I mean if they needed a song to shake off that “Sunshine Girl”-mania that was going on, this song was just kicking that door down HARD.  I mean it’s dance, true to moumoon, and YUKA does a great job holding down both the amount of Japanese and English in the track.  Yeah the verses’ melody is essentially ripping off Martin Solveig’s “Hello” to a T, but Masaki and YUKA definitely worked their magic all over it and that’s why it still remains my favorite off the album!  It’s just an amazing song to listen to!

10. Never Enough

Then we slow down once again for the closing songs of the album.  I kind of found myself thinking it was a more guitar-heavy take of “Utsukushii Hito”, but I kind like that song better.  This one just sounds nice but doesn’t do much for me otherwise besides the good arrangement and YUKA’s vocals.  Kind of forgetful.

11. Doko e mo Ikanai yo

Of the A-sides that had to be included, I really wasn’t into this track very much and as it’s the final track (minus the bonus), it was appropriate since PAIN KILLER ends with a track like this.  The light atmosphere works, but it’s another one of those songs that sound like it would belong on “15 Doors”.  Simple and effective, just not memorable otherwise.

Tracks Recommended

  • “Love is Everywhere”
  • DREAMER DREAMER (PAIN KILLER ver.)
  • Utsukushii Hito
  • Hanabi
  • Vanitas

Song of Avoidance

  • Doke e mo Ikanai yo

*will review the acoustic take of Flowers once it leaks* Even though PAIN KILLER is not as vibrant of an album to moumoon like “No Night Land” was, I have to say they did a pretty good job here with what they have.  I mean my top 5 easily crushes my favorites on their last album by quite a long shot!  So I can say that this was the better album!  There were points where the ballads were kind of meh, but the upbeat songs brought life back easily.  Definitely impressed from moumoon, though I wonder why they left off “Wild Child” >.> I’m not complaining because it’s a bad song, but still wondering why it didn’t make the cut.

 

moumoon – DREAMER DREAMER/Doko e mo Ikanai yo December 15, 2012

Filed under: moumoon — solarblade @ 6:18 am

dreamerdreamer

Track Listing

  1. DREAMER DREAMER
  2. Doko e mo Ikanai yo
  3. Midori no Michi
  4. DREAMER DREAMER (instrumental)
  5. Doke e mo Ikanai yo (instrumental)
  6. Midori no Michi (instrumental)

1. DREAMER DREAMER

In recent times, moumoon hasn’t really brought their A game for a while but at least with DREAMER DREAMER, the song sounds really cool and YUKA just has a really cute tone and I’m just loving the whole atmospheric feel of the song, but with a little edge to it.  Even though I still think “Love is Everywhere” is the era’s best song that is pretty damn close…it’s catchy andis a very cool track from the duo!

2. Doko e mo Ikanai yo

The secondary A-side, Doke e mo Ikanai yo is a much lighter affair as it’s kind of a chilled out and light song overall.  Even though I enjoy YUKA in this song singing in a very quiet tone, the song kind of is basic and kind of a bit too empty.  I want to enjoy it, but the song is really boring to me…

3. Midori no Michi

Which isn’t helping the B-side of the single because it’s really more of the same but with a little more push behind it.  YUKA still sounds soft and pleasant, but when she’s given a mid-tempo like this, she kind of settles in the background for me for some reason.  At least I can say that she had a bit more conviction in her voice and she gets stronger in the chorus which is a godsend.  Overall it’s a pleasant song, not better than “DREAMER DREAMER” but in the middle of the single.

 

 

As the fourth and final single before their album, “PAIN KILLER” comes out, I’d have to say that DREAMER DREAMER/Doke e mo Ikanai yo is an all right single, not the best but not crappy at least. DREAMER DREAMER is a pretty awesome song and I’m happy it was promoted more than Doko e mo Ikanai yo because that song is REALLY boring to me…and Midori no Michi just lies in the middle of it all, not bad, but not amazing either.  I’m rather curious to how the album will turn out considering some of the songs that came out from the 4 singles…