Kurayami Monogatari

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Yohske Yamamoto feat. Nami Tamaki – ALL-WAYS August 12, 2016

Filed under: Nami Tamaki — solarblade @ 5:52 am

allways

Track Listing

  1. ALL-WAYS
  2. THE LAST SONG
  3. ALL-WAYS (INSTRUMENTAL)
  4. THE LAST SONG (INSTRUMENTAL)

1. ALL-WAYS

Wow I wasn’t expecting Nami to do a collaboration with another artist that wasn’t her song to begin with.  What I’m saying this is Yamamoto’s songs, but since he’s the guitarist it feels like it’s Nami’s thing. For fans that loved her more rockin’ songs in her discography, then you’ll find something to enjoy here.  Her voice still sounds fitting to the style and the rhythm and arrangement is cool and catchy too!

2. THE LAST SONG

On the other hand, THE LAST SONG has a bit more grand feeling like an epic rock track should.  Surprising that this song is longer at 6 minutes, but I feel like Nami really kept it together and the verses were light while the chorus is just loud and in your face!  I actually connected the most with this song a lot more than the leading track.

While I did miss reviewing it a release, I decided to tackle this as I was told Nami had full lead singing.  I really do like Nami when she decides to do rock songs to kind of takea break from her anison/dance music.  ALL-WAYS is a pretty good single, though I’m pretty sad it isn’t hers technically.

 

Nami Tamaki – Everlasting Love June 15, 2015

Filed under: Nami Tamaki — solarblade @ 9:17 pm

everlasting love

Track Listing

  1. Everlasting Love
  2. VAMPIRE HOLMES ~Hamlet to no Deai~
  3. Everlasting Love -inst-

1. Everlasting Love

As the leading song, Nami brings us another anison song that heavily borrws a lot of elements from her SONY songs like thee stronger guitarwork and the chords that sound SO in her comfy area of expertise.  Actually if I had known any better, I would’ve placed this somewhere around the “Make Progress” and “Speciality” era.  It’s a good song for her old fans to cherish a bit more and Nami definitely sounds like her old self!

2. VAMPIRE HOLMES ~Hamlet to no Deai~

For fans that were expecting an actual B-side to come from Nami will be sorely disappointed here.  Hamlet to no Deai is just an audio drama from the anime Everlasting Love is tied to.  Also it’s mostly done by Yoshinobu Sena who voices the lead character.  Honestly, it doesn’t really do much of anything for me as I haven’t watched the anime so this is kind of useless to me (and probably many of Nami fans).

 

 

As the 5th? single she’s released since her last album, Everlasting Love pushes Nami back into her old ways even further than “Vivid Telepathy” did and that’s a bit strange to me especially giving her run the singles before that.  The song is pretty decent though and carries a lot of nostalgia for me, but the lack of a B-side (and instead some audio drama) is a bit disappointing.

 

Nami Tamaki – Graduation ~Singles~ March 24, 2015

Filed under: Nami Tamaki — solarblade @ 8:27 pm

graduation

Track Listing

  1. Believe
  2. Realize
  3. Prayer
  4. Shining Star ☆Wasurenai Kara☆
  5. Daitan ni Ikimashou ↑Heart&Soul↑
  6. Reason
  7. Fortune
  8. Heroine
  9. Get Wild
  10. MY WAY
  11. Sunrize
  12. Result
  13. Sanctuary
  14. 19 GROWING UP -ode to my buddy- (Limited only)

1. Believe

Why not, the song is a pretty badass track and an amazing debut for Nami!  Being the Gundam SEED theme definitely shocked me too and yet it fits the series so well.  Nami being so young when this released, Believe showed off a lot of her skills right from the start from singing to dancing so no wonder why she got such a fanbase from this.  The track itself, is anison of course, but it’s got some edgy guitars and transitions that furthered itself from being ordinary.  It always pumps me up whenever I hear this and still is one of my favorites from her today.

2. Realize

As the ending theme to the same series, Realize was a much lighter affair, but still contained a lot of the same things as “Believe”.  It’s just that the tune was more upbeat and bright and the synths were a bit more in the front as well.  I thought vocally, Nami did much better here as she had a much broader range and could emote a little better (even if she still kind of lacked it overall).  As a pair, these two songs are classics with one another…If one thing, it does remind me of a girl next door song hahah.

3. Prayer

The first song with no tie-in, Prayer was still surprisingly anison in its arrangement.  Being a little slower than “Realize”, Prayer was trying to go for something like a ballad or maybe a mid-tempo, but due to the beats and the guitar riffs, it doesn’t snuggly fit in either spot.  I don’t think her voice was quite as radiant as it was in the previous track, but it kind of worked here.  I mean I still do like the song, but after having it so long, I’m noticing the little things haha.

4. Shining Star ☆Wasurenai Kara☆

Ending the “greeting” era singles, Shining Star is the oddball of the four.  I mean it sample “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” for one thing and the track is definitely dependent on synths to get it by which is a total 180 from the anison pop/rock sound of the previous three singles.  For some reason though Nami’s vocals got better from “Prayer” which is a solid thing to hear.  I did feel like it was a bit off as an A-side however, I still am not a big fan of the backup vocals used in the chorus…made a song that was already chintzy become cheesy.

5. Daitan ni Ikimashou ↑Heart&Soul↑

Maybe I shouldn’t have spoken too soon because Daitan ni Ikimashou was the first single from her “Make Progress” album.  Being a cover of an A*Teens song, “A Perfect Match”, this song was way out there.  If I thought “Shining Star” was a bit cheesy, then this was moreso.  It’s VERY Western sounding, but luckily Nami changed the lyrics around to be different from the original.  I will say, that I found this mad catchy though and Nami is sounding like she’s having fun here which is a plus of course.  I just can’t the fact that it’s a cover out of my head.

6. Reason

After those two singles that tried to push her away from being an anison artist, Reason happens and of course it’s a Gundam SEED DESTINY theme!  It’s a lot like “Believe” with the kind of darker feel and the energetic dance motif it gets (which is her strong point).  It’s pretty awesome once again and with Nami’s vocals maturing, she was able to have a stronger performance out of it which is much appreciated.  I definitely loved this one, but it was the next A-side that really caught my attention.

7. Fortune

Used as the theme for the PS2 game, Radiata Stories, Fortune was an amazing surprise.  Yes, it screams anison, but Nami sounded perfect with this track that kind of sounded like it could’ve been another Gundam them.  I’m really loving the arrangement that includes a whole lot of strings and synths together.  Also, it’s a great song used for lives as it pumps up the crowd funny enough.  Definitely one of my favorite Nami songs!

8. Heroine

Ending the “Make Progress” singles, we have Heroine which takes out the strings and shoves guitars in the arrangement, but it’s still not a rock song…but sounds like a grittier anison song.  Nami is really pushing herself in the song with a lot of shouting in the chorus and it does kind of rubs me off a bit.  It’s not bad, but it’s quite rough to listen to.

9. Get Wild

We enter the final album represented on the best album.  Starting with Nami’s cover of the famous Get Wild from TM NETWORK.  This was a pretty faithful cover of the original and once again I feel like Nami’s vocals are 100 times better than what it was in “Heroine”.  The tune is a bit more current sounding with a lot of extra punch with the beats and synths.  I really enjoyed this cover a lot and surprised she’d cover it but happy she did!

10. MY WAY

However, I wasn’t expecting the next A-side she’d release to be so…strange.  I’ve never been a huge fan of this A-side (to be honest it still ranks as the lowest of her SONY era).  The song feels oddly slow even though the arrangement is engaging enough to be slightly faster.  Add on the anison riffs and it’s just strange.  Nami sounds good though which is a plus, but the song (and its accompanying PV) was just not working for me.

11. Sunrize

Sunrize also marked a couple things for Nami, this was a double A-side with “MY WAY” which was a first AND this song didn’t get a PV which meant it’s the only A-side with no PV.  Sunrize is more or less what we’ve been getting a lot on this album which is anison music.  In the long run, Sunrize really didn’t do much for me and while I seldom use generic to describe Nami songs this era had a LOT of weak songs with blips of genius.

12. Result

Then we get pulled back for ANOTHER Gundam SEED DESTINY theme with Result.  Just like “Believe” and “Reason”, Result has the same dark vibe that really excited her fans and be it so because the track was quite cool (despite the likeness to Ayu’s “UNITE!”).  The track had a lot more drums involved here and I liked that about this one…it had more punch and Nami’s vocals just sound so serious.  Another great hit, though I think the three other Gundam themes she did have more nostalgia about them.

13. Sanctuary

As the final A-side of this album, Sanctuary was used as the theme for KIBA and this was definitely another anison-laced song.  However, I thought Nami sounded amazing in this song.  She had such a good tone and with the arrangement flowing behind her, it was a strong song for her and one of the best ones from “Speciality”.

14. 19 GROWING UP -ode to my buddy-

On limited editions of the album though, we get an extra song…though it’s not brand new (it’s a cover of a PRINCESS PRINCESS song that was used on their tribute album released 3 months before Nami’s best album).  I had totally forgot its existence so coming back to it had me curious.  The song is upbeat and filled with tons of synths as well.  Though I can’t say that I’m for Nami’s shouting once again…seems a bit much.  Still I suppose it’s a nice bonus.

Tracks Recommended

  • Fortune
  • Believe
  • Realize
  • Sanctuary
  • Reason

Song of Avoidance

  • MY WAY

Ahhh, Nami’s first best album (yeah, she’s due for another one, but with her label jumping that might not happen anytime soon).  Going back to her glory days (her first three albums), Graduation was a nice walk down memory lane…although I will concede that it’s a hard listen since most of the songs are set in the same style as one another.  While I wished she held this album until have her label change (include the “Don’t Stay” singles here), it’s a good collection (plus the DVD has all the PVs)!

 

Nami Tamaki – Vivid Telepathy November 20, 2014

Filed under: Nami Tamaki — solarblade @ 2:34 pm

vividtelepathy

Track Listing

  1. Vivid Telepathy
  2. Do Ya Wanna Dance
  3. Vivid Telepathy (instrumental)
  4. Do Ya Wanna Dance (instrumental)

1. Vivid Telepathy

Well, I wasn’t expecting Nami to have really pulled the nostalgic strings for Vivid Telepathy because this sounds a LOT like something she would’ve released back in her “greeting” and “Make Progress” days.  You know, a very dance-centric anison song.  It even has some of the instrumentation and chords that really made up a lot of Nami’s music back then and I appreciated that a lot!  Though the second verse with that dubstep wubbing was a bit lost on me, but it’s a small negative in comparison to the rest of the track.  Overall, a pretty good song and fits snuggly with her list of anison tracks she’s done.

2. Do Ya Wanna Dance

As for the B-side however, she kind of slipped up.  Do Ya Wanna Dance is trying to be a little more on the cool side, but there’s something so wrong with the track from the gritty synth melody and wubs and to top that off, Nami is under HEAVY auto-tune influence throughout the song and the only voices that aren’t covered are the background singers which throws me off!  I mean the song is in the current sound, but it’s just to much for me to handle and she doesn’t even do a good job singing either…a lot of English thrown in too.  It was just a meh B-side.

 

 

Interesting to see that Warner got Nami to release this single for sure!  Anyways, Vivid Telepathy is an OK single, not as good as her last 3 singles have been, but decent.  The leading track is a great callback to her early days and she nailed that pretty damn well, the disappointment came more from the B-side which was a pretty hot mess and didn’t showcase anything good (too much auto-tune, the reliance on the background singers, the Engrish)…I really want a Nami album soon!

 

Nami Tamaki – NT GUNDAM COVER June 26, 2014

Filed under: Nami Tamaki — solarblade @ 4:45 am

ntgundamcover

Track Listing

  1. Meguriai
  2. Arashi no Naka de Kagayaite
  3. MEN OF DESTINY
  4. Z Toki wo Koete
  5. Silent Voice
  6. ETERNAL WIND ~Hohoemi wa Hikaru Kaze no Naka~
  7. Umi Yori mo Fukaku
  8. JUST COMMUNICATION
  9. DREAMS
  10. Akatsuki no Kuruma
  11. Believe -NT GUNDAM COVER ver.-

1. Meguirai

Opening Nami’s cover album, Meguriai is a song that I’m familiar with because GACKT had covered a couple years ago.  I was wondering what Nami’s sound would be like and it seem she stuck with synths and guitars and Meguriai is a rather powerful track to showcase her vocals.  I’m also noticing she’s pronouncing things in English better than she has before so that was a nice treat!  It’s a heavy track though so prepare your ears with the amount of heavy guitar riffs…Great way to kick this album off!

2. Arashi no Naka de Kagayaite

Another song I’m familiar with (being covered by Shokotan).  Moving into this song, this had a little of that old sound that Nami fans would LOVE to hear once again, except there’s some more guitar-influence but honestly…this is giving me some nostalgic awesomeness.  Nami’s voice even sounds like how it did back then and I’m loving this a lot!  Very classic and Nami’s rendition is pretty awesome too!

3. MEN OF DESTINY

Moving on, MEN OF DESTINY is a song I’m not too familar with so I can’t make base to its original take.  There’s something about this song that doesn’t seem right to me.  Like the arrangement does include some interesting things, but most of it doesn’t really connect with me.  I will say Nami’s voice is pretty powerful to make up for the arrangement falling a bit flat.  Eh, it’s OK but nothing I’d come back to for now.

4. Z Toki wo Koete

I know I’ve heard this song somewhere, maybe it was the original GUNDAM theme perhaps or a cover?  Anyways, Z Toki wo Koete kind of rids of the synths and unleashed a full-on rock song and once again, her voice really suits this style and her voice just adds this unprecedented sense of edge and fell in love with it!  Great cover overall!~

5. Silent Voice

After that, she brings back the synths and honestly I’m also quickly loving the arrangement of the song and Nami also uses her deeper tone here and I somehow just found this track just increasingly catchy and fast and full of energy.  Where did this come from…it reminds me of well “STORM” turned out from long ago.  Powerful and awesome…another winner here!

6. ETERNAL WIND ~Hohoemi wa Hikaru Kaze no Naka~

Another song I’m not too familiar with, ETERNAL WIND acts as the ballad Nami gets to cover.  I feel like Nami tried her best here and well for the most part, she did alright if a little off because her voice doesn’t seem to fit the arrangement much and she’s using her chest voice for majority of the song.  At least when the extra instruments are added, Nami starts to feel more comfortable singing along this track.  Might not be as engaging as “Meguriai” and “Silent Voice” but it’s a pretty nice song.

7. Umi Yori mo Fukaku

Wow they’re picking random songs that I just have never heard huh?  This one sounds a lot more pop-centric than the other songs which is nice and the chorus is pretty nice to listen to.  It reminds me of today’s anison songs but with a little more oomph.  Nami of course gives a strong vocal performance even if the arrangement doesn’t sound together much.  Not bad.

8. JUST COMMUNICATION

Hey, we finally have a song I actually love!  JUST COMMUNICATION was TWO-MIX’s breakout hit and Nami covering was just exciting (although “RHYTHM EMOTION” would’ve been such a stronger choice).  Of course with its arrangement being updated, I thought it was going to hit harder, but it kind of takes the route of having slower verses and building it up to the chorus.  However, I think this is one of the weaker covers…I mean I love the guitars, but the song feels too slow.  Damn…

9. DREAMS

Hey didn’t HIMEKA cover this long ago?  I guess Nami gets to cover now.  I like that this song has more of a synth-driven arrangement mixed with the guitars.  It feels like there’s some effort here actually because there’s some layering found here which always works because Nami sounds great here, plus her voice makes the song work a lot!  A pretty awesome song!

10. Akatsuki no Kuruma

Really?  A FictionJunction YUUKA cover?  Sounds weird because YUUKA and Nami are totally different voices which really could’ve been a tragedy.  I will say, that what I said in “ETERNAL WIND” about Nami’s voice doesn’t seem to fit much with the arrangement also applies here and when the arrangement opens up more, she fits in better and the song gets edgier as time goes on..it’s really neat and the guitarwork in the later half is amazing!  It’s an interesting cover overall and kind of nice overall, but the beginning takes some time to get used to.

11. Believe -NT GUNDAM COVER ver.-

Wait another version of Believe?  We just got an update last year from “REAL” and now we’re getting another one???  Well it seems like this version is a more energized rock version of Nami’s debut song which was a pretty big deal back in the days.  Nami also resung this as well and she sounds less deep than she did in the 2013 revision.  I do love the sound of this version for sure and energy is wild here.  Awesome way to close out this album!

Tracks Recommended

  • Silent Voice
  • Arashi no Naka de Kagayaite
  • Believe -NT GUNDAM COVER ver.-
  • DREAMS
  • Z Toki wo Koete

Song of Avoidance

  • JUST COMMUNICATION

When I heard that Nami was going to do a cover album of GUNDAM themes, I was downright excited because GUNDAM is very special to Nami…it’s where she got her claim to fame!  I also had wondered since she left SONY her sound would be strange to do SONY-owned themes.  Luckily, NT GUNDAM COVER was a very powerful album with blazing arrangement and strong vocals!  I still can’t wait for Nami’s first album under Teichiku though…I just wonder how this will fare with the fans…this’ll be interestin, but this was a cool album *RECOMMENDED*

 

Nami Tamaki – REAL April 18, 2013

Filed under: Nami Tamaki — solarblade @ 12:21 am

realnami

Track Listing

  1. REAL
  2. emotion
  3. Believe -2013- (Regular only)
  4. REAL (instrumental)
  5. emotion (instrumental)
  6. Believe -2013- (instrumental)

1. REAL

I was wondering what Nami do for her third A-side under Teichiku and honestly, I’m happy she switched producers for this one!  I have to say that I’m surprised she got the same guy that produced “Brightdown” because REAL sounds JUST like that song but more suited for Nami of today.  Nami sounds amazingly in control and the chorus is just as much giving this epic performance!  I just love that Nami tackled rock again!

2. emotion

For the B-side, I was kind of expecting a ballad to come along but emotion kind of also has the pop/rock flair, but it also kind of sounds like something SONY Nami would’ve released as it has some synths.  I actually have to admit that I kind of like this song a smidge better than “REAL” because her vocals are deeper and way cooler to listen.  The chorus has a bit of some odd transitioning, but the song is very cool as well.  Damn xD

3. Believe -2013-

On the regular editions of the single, we get a bonus track which is a self-cover of her debut song Believe which is a surprise for me!  Given the time that’s past since then, the song got glossed up by being a bit more electro and with Nami’s vocals matured as they have and her resing it…it’s something.  It does feel like Nami toned the energy down, but the mood of the song is different but at the same time familiar.

Nami’s 3rd single and she’s just bringing all the feels in.  REAL and emotion really sent the message that she wants to go back to her SONY sound on this single and it’s like she never even did the UNI-J failures.  Both songs are quite impressive and her voice has never sounded better!  Her self-cover of Believe is a smidge weaker than the original, but the new arrangement was a nice touch!  She’s just on a roll!!!!!

 

Nami Tamaki – PARADISE October 9, 2012

Filed under: Nami Tamaki — solarblade @ 7:47 pm

Track Listing

  1. PARADISE
  2. COLORS
  3. PARADISE (Instrumental)
  4. COLORS (Instrumental)

1. PARADISE

I might as well sell my soul to Nami again because since her second label change, she’s just been bringing it (plus it helps that Shinichi Osawa is bringing it back).  Unlike “LADY MIND” the song has a little more going for it…a bit more filling and change.  The arrangement does sound similar to her last single as well, but a little lighter and has more of a scenic tone to it.  Nami also seemed to ditch the repetitive lyrics for something a little more filling as well which stands out to me a lot!  I have to say, this song has re-solidified me stanning for her ^_^!!!

2. COLORS

Likewise from her last single, COLORS is another Oddity-produced track, but this one seems to be quite a banger for me.  I mean the beats and synths are edgy and Nami sounds REALLY good in this song (even though she’s under auto-tune for some of it).  I really ended up liking this as well and to me is better than “START UP”.

 

 

Wow, I knew “LADY MIND” was a test to see how she would fare going back to dance music, but with PARADISE, she just rolled with the punches and cleared up the slight issues I did have from the last single with both songs.  PARADISE is awesome and it’s also kind of bright but airy too (kind of reminds me of a less-anime, more synth version of “New World”.  COLORS is pretty cool and Nami worked that song as well, leaving us with a cool club thumper…Yeah, you know I definitely want you guys to listen to it *RECOMMENDED*