Kurayami Monogatari

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Natsuko Aso – Parade! December 1, 2012

Filed under: Natsuko Aso — solarblade @ 4:10 am

parade

Track Listing

  1. Parade!
  2. CROSS×OVER SENSATION
  3. You’re my brightness

1. Parade!

Natsuko starts the single off with Parade! which is a high-energy track which is actually a nice surprise after the last couple of singles.  She also doesn’t sound as shrill which is also another positive.  I enjoyed the guitars of the song, but some of the vocal parts from Natsuko are a bit questionable (especially the spitfire parts where she crams so many lyrics in 5 seconds).  Not the best she’s done, but its a nice track once you get over the problems.

2. CROSS×OVER SENSATION

The first B-side CROSS×OVER SENSATION shares a certain cute style like some of the singles from the last era which isn’t a bad direction, but it’s also refreshing for some reason because it’s kind of danceable and happy in a good way.  I have to say, I kind of enjoyed this more than “Parade!”.

3. You’re my brightness

Seldom do we hear Natsuko sing a ballad and it seems we get a new one with You’re my brightness which has a lot of what you expect from piano and acoustic guitar to light percussion and small background sounds.  It’s nothing to over the top and it sounds like a pretty anime ending…but not something that’ll stand out anytime soon for me.

 

 

Natsuko’s 3rd single for this unnamed era is a bit underwhelming when compared to her last single, “Fighting Growing Diary” because sans CROSS×OVER SENSATION, the other two tracks didn’t really leave much of an impression.  Yeah, Parade! has guitar riffs and an energetic arrangement, but some of the lyrics were sloppily done.  As for You’re my brightness, it’s a ballad…nice…but nothing new and Natsuko has done better ballads (I think…).  Overall it could’ve been better.

 

Natsuko Aso – Fighting Growing Diary July 30, 2012

Filed under: Natsuko Aso — solarblade @ 7:07 am

Track Listing

  1. Fighting Growing Diary
  2. WONDER SUMMER VACATION
  3. Hello, my world

1. Fighting Growing Diary

Besides the rather odd title (she’s known for this anyways) Fighting Growing Diary actually seemed like it toned down the cutesy vocals but managed to keep that bubbly anime pop feel to her style.  I mean the lyrics are a bit wacky and non-sensical sometimes but this song is kind of a step up from previous A-sides for sure ^_^

2. WONDER SUMMER VACATION

The first B-side on the single, WONDER SUMMER VACATION sounds a bit more idol-pop which is a nice change of sound and Natsuko’s vocals are a bit more suited here which is pretty nice.  It’s a pretty bright song and definitely a lot more fitting for her.

3. Hello, my world

A first for Natsuko, we get another B-side in Hello, my world which also has an idol-like style for it but there’s a bit more of a beat to me whereas
WONDER SUMMER VACATION” is a bit lighter.  I think the song is also better because it’s catchy and the chorus is easily hummable to me.  Definitely my favorite track off the single.

 

 

I have to say that it has been quite a while since I liked a Natsuko single and Fighting Growing Diary is a pretty impressive single.  All three songs all trumped over her last single, “Lovely Girls Anthem” by a huge leap.  I have to say though that both WONDER SUMMER VACATION and Hello, my world were shockingly the better songs since Natsuko’s vocals got let up on the squeaky cute but kept that idol-style.  Fighting Growing Diary is good too but it’s a bit odd lyrically so it’s kind of taking time to get used to.

 

Natsuko Aso – Lovely Girls Anthem February 9, 2012

Filed under: Natsuko Aso — solarblade @ 9:35 am

Track Listing

  1. Lovely Girls Anthem
  2. Merry-go-round
  3. Lovely Girls Anthem (Instrumental)
  4. Merry-go-round (Instrumental)

1. Lovely Girls Anthem

I’m super happy that Natsuko toned down the genki-style for her first A-side of her third era for sure!  It’s still cuter than what she began her career with but she put a little more work towards her vocals than the song which is great!  It’s kind of nice to listen to and almost has this You Kikkawa feel to it…(ironic).  Yeah I like it but there’s still songs I enjoy from Natsuko elsewhere.

2. Merry-go-round

I can almost say the same thing with Merry-go-round but I also like this as well since it’s cute but not overly so.  It’s just light and fun to listen to but I still like her vocals in the A-side just a little more.  Though the quick singing here is kind of interesting for the song lmao.  Not much I can really say right now about it that I haven’t already said in “Lovely Girls Anthem”.

 

 

Kicking off her 3rd era, Lovely Girls Anthem is actually a solid single (and she really hasn’t had one since her first era).  Both songs might be similar in action but they have points that make them sound nice.  Maybe she’s finding her niche now…Annoyingly cute is just not her style.

 

Natsuko Aso – Precious tone November 9, 2011

Filed under: Natsuko Aso — solarblade @ 8:38 am

Track Listing

  1. Eureka Baby
  2. More-more LOVERS!!
  3. Kuusou Resume
  4. Tokimeki☆Traveler
  5. Daylight
  6. Knockin’ On Dream’s Door
  7. Luminous face, It’s mine!
  8. bitter
  9. starry-eyed future
  10. Renai Koujou committee
  11. Diamond Star☆
  12. Precious tone

1. Eureka Baby

I was kind of hoping that she didn’t choose Eureka Baby as the opening song to Natsuko’s sophomore album but damn it all that she does!  Then again when most of the era has been chock-full of sugary idol-pop tunes, it’s hard to escape it.  So I had to swallow that pill and see what she’s done without thinking of the awesomeness of “Programming for non-fiction”.  After listening to it, it does remind of a YuiKaori song but with Natsuko’s vocals which aren’t as terrible as I once thought they were.  Still, odd choice for first song!

2. More-more LOVERS!!

The second track is the era’s first A-side which is oddly enough more cuter than the final A-side of the era (“Eureka Baby”).  While it’s pretty much cutesy pop once again, More-more LOVERS!! is alright but I do find that the genki extras and the pseudo rapping is a little out of place.  It’s just a little strange for me which could be bad but sometimes it’s good on a good day XD.

3. Kuusou Resume

Yay!  A string of brand new songs come up next starting with Kuusou Resume.  I will say that despite the same atmosphere in the song that’s been prevelent so far on the album, this has actual good vocals from Natsuko.  They’re deeper than I remembered them last and fits the arrangement quite well.  I wish she had released this as a single instead of some of the others.

4. Tokimeki☆Traveler

Our next track really came out of nowhere and surprised me the most on this album.  Unlike the previous three tracks that were genki synthy songs bundled in an idol-bow, Tokimeki☆Traveler is all synths no doubt, but it sounds like it would’ve fit more on her debut album, “Movement of magic”.  I’m surprised she played it low on this song but it worked since it has this mysterious vibe mixed with an outer-space feel to it.  I liked it a lot!  It’s probably my favorite from the album.

5. Daylight

After such a song like “Tokimeki☆Traveler” it wasn’t surprising she’d follow it up with a bright pop song like Daylight.  They are like night and day to each other but it’s such a nice contrast to be honest.  I still to prefer the previous song though, but this is also a nice track to be honest and she sounds rather good, especially the chorus. 

6. Knockin’ On Dream’s Door

I liked the intro of our next song which includes strings and a nice beat.  After a little bit with that it lets up and we’re left with Natsuko and a guitar riff.  It feels like what her A-sides would’ve sound like if they were stripped of their sugar coating.  I’m not sure if I would’ve liked them any better though and with this song I do feel like it’s missing something to make it feel complete.  The piano is really cute though…It’s alright of a song but iono…

7. Luminous face, It’s mine!

Then she tries to go for the epic anime-song with Luminous face and she actually pulls this off even though it really doesn’t fit on the album really since it’s hard and rockin’.  There’s traces of synths found throughout the song and the chorus does seem to cutesy up things but overall it just stands out on the album in a weird way but I like the song just by itself.  It’s the right kind of edge she needed after so many cute songs before this album’s release. 

8. bitter

bitter to me is to me sounding like a winter song because of how it’s arrangement is presented.  It’s a mid-tempo tune, but it’s hard to decide if it’s more of a pop tune or an R&B track since it comes off both ways to me.  It stays pretty much at the same feel the entire song and at the end I’m kind of disappointed because it wasn’t exactly anything special (especially that stands out on its own since this album has been quite varied throughout).

9. starry-eyed future

Unlike her last album which included two B-sides, Precious tone only let one B-side make the album’s cut and it’s the one from “Diamond Star☆”.  When the single was released this song was very forgetful and kind of bland, but on the album, I found it to be a much better place for it even though her vocals aren’t as good.  I say that after the boring “bitter”, starry-eyed future came in and showed up the previous song by being a better tune overall (and this is coming from a ballad). 

10. Renai Koujou committee

I was starting to wonder what happened to all of that genki-idol stuff Natsuko did and we get rushed back in with her 3rd A-side.  I will say that after time getting used to her changing sounds, Renai Koujou committee has slightly grown on me even though this song is a bit much and the odd usage of auto-tune was bothersome.  It just sounds like something MilkyWay would have loved to have made their own!

11. Diamond Star☆

It’s so tough to decide which A-side was the best of the four but I’m leaning more towards her second A-side, Diamond Star☆.  It isn’t all in your face like the other three A-sides but at the same time it still has the genki anime pop sound going which brought it down.  Also, add in the parts where guys are yelling with her and it just leaves me with my eyebrows raised. 

12. Precious tone

The album then closes with its promotional tune (which is also the title track no surprise there since “Movement of magic” was also a promotional song for that album).  I wasn’t expecting the song to be somewhat reminescent of stuff on her first album but that’s pretty cool since I like the strings and the synth-play here.  Natsuko sounds really pleasant though and I have to say I was impressed with this song and made a pretty ending.

Tracks Recommended

  • Tokimeki☆Traveler
  • Precious tone
  • Luminous face, It’s mine!
  • Kuusou Resume
  • Daylight

Song of Avoidance

  • bitter

Just to show you, she released 4 A-sides but none of them made the list of recommendations.  Precious tone really shows that A-sides do not make an album epic it’s the actual album tracks themselves this time around.  I wish her label stopped pushing her to be an idol-like singer because it doesn’t work AT ALL.  I liked it when she’s more in a natural sound like the album tracks and some of the stuff of her debut.  I will say she’s progessed for this album which is awesome!  NO MORE CUTE A-SIDES PLZZZZZ.

 

Natsuko Aso – Eureka Baby July 23, 2011

Filed under: Natsuko Aso — solarblade @ 11:50 am

Track Listing

  1. Eureka Baby
  2. Pop step trip!
  3. Eureka Baby (Instrumental)
  4. Pop step trip! (Instrumental)

1. Eureka Baby

I seriously wished Natsuko would escape the grasp of sugary genki music, but I guess it seems she’s forever stuck in this direction.  I just don’t know why, but I seriously couldn’t get into Eureka Baby just for the reasoning.  I mean she’s singing alright, but the background randomness and the music is just too sugary for me.  It just isn’t my cup of tea.

2. Pop step trip!

I’m also on the fence with this one as well since it’s just as cute and genki all rolled in one song.  However, I do feel that Natsuko is trying to add the cuteness to her vocals and I will admit isn’t so bad and at least this song doesn’t come off as a bit kiddy which is good, but it comes off as a summer track which I’ll take.  At least it’s better than “Eureka Baby”.

 

 

Since this is Natsuko’s 4th single (probably the last) of the era, Eureka Baby is just like the other releases she’s done.  Poor A-side and better B-side it seems to be her work release nowadays.  I don’t know…Why can’t she ditch the sugary stuff and go back to the stuff when she first debuted….ugh

 

Natsuko Aso – Renai Koujou committee March 9, 2011

Filed under: Natsuko Aso — solarblade @ 4:46 am

Track Listing

  1. Renai Koujou committee
  2. Sweet Sweet Sweets
  3. Renai Koujou committee (Instrumental)
  4. Sweet Sweet Sweets (Instrumental)

1. Renai Koujou committee

<.<….That’s the face that popped on my face when I turned on Renai Koujou committee.  I should really give up the hope that she’ll return to her old sound now.  Renai Koujou committee is definitely another one of those genki songs from Natsuko and while it’s easier to listen to…it’s still way too busy in the instrumental, but at least I can tell what the melody is supposed to be.  It’s very energetic for sure!

2. Sweet Sweet Sweets

Oh no, the title really got me worried since it would be uberly cute.  However, the song actually isn’t that bad of a song to be honest even though it’s still quite cute.  I love the harmonica/acousic guitar mixed with plucked strings.  It makes me think of Super Mario Sunshine for some strange reason, but I think it’s those combination of instruments.  Natsuko also sounds cute and yet relaxed so it works with the more laidback sound.  Interesting track!

As this is the third single of the era, Renai Koujou committee isn’t all that different when put next to the other singles of the era, but I will say that the B-side is worth a listen since it’s relaxing yet cute…but not overbearing like Renai Koujou committee.  As for the main A-side not much different has really changed from “More-more LOVERS!!” and “Diamond Star☆”.  I wonder how this album will work out…

 

Natsuko Aso – Diamond Star☆ February 15, 2011

Filed under: Natsuko Aso — solarblade @ 10:59 am

Track Listing

  1. Diamond Star☆
  2. starry-eyed future
  3. Diamond Star☆ (Instrumental)
  4. starry-eyed future (Instrumental)

1. Diamond Star☆

I was going to be frustrated if Natsuko’s next A-side was going to be ridiculous like the last three were and luckily she gets a bit more cleaner for Diamond Star☆ (well, I say that lightly because the after-chorus is really random and kind of surprising at the same time).  While the arrangement is pretty genki still, Natsuko sounds quite enthusiastic singing the song with the energetic cutesy pop song, but I think she tackled it pretty damn well.

2. starry-eyed future

As for the B-side, starry-eyed future is like previous B-sides that have taken the lighter route for the arrangement.  However, I don’t feel for this one much since it’s only slightly different enough from “Twinkle night star” that it sounds nice, but without the wintry stuff.  I like Natsuko’s vocals and the acoustic guitar solo in the middle of the track, but it just feels so plain…

For Natsuko’s 2nd in the era, Diamond Star☆ is actually one of her better A-sides as of recent since it’s not sickingly cute and shit which has been her downfall since “Perfect-area complete!” which is great at this point.  The B-side is nothing too special and just single fodder, but finally…A GOOD NATSUKO A-SIDE!!!!