Kurayami Monogatari

Would love a comment every so often <<

NIKIIE – Equal February 16, 2013

Filed under: NIKIIE — solarblade @ 1:31 pm

equal

Track Listing

  1. Introduction
  2. Morning in the dark
  3. Darlin’
  4. Un Deux Trois!
  5. Canary
  6. LIGHT
  7. Mother’s cry
  8. Duty Friend
  9. mannequin
  10. Hero:
  11. Namida Boshi
  12. Everytime
  13. From me to you

1. Introduction

Beginning the album is a 40 second introductory piece aptly called Introduction.  There’s really only a piano and some beats in the background.  I don’t really think it’s anything special, but I guess it does its job correctly.

2. Morning in the dark

At least it’s short so we can get into our first vocal song, Morning in the dark.  I really like it’s progressive side to it and for some reason it feels like a brighter take of “Gensou Form” so this song really picked up on my radar and it’s just surprisingly catchy to listen to.  I also must say that NIKIIE just sounds amazing as well in this song too. What a great way to start the album!

3. Darlin’

Moving on, Darlin’ kind of goes to back of more of this upbeat pop/rock style that NIKIIE slightly jumped on from her first album.  That being said, this was another impressive song.  It just has such a good amount of energy and power behind it and hearing harmonica being used in the song was a nice touch as well.  Another great offering from NIKIIE!

4. Un Deux Trois!

Something about the next track screams BONNIE PINK for me with it’s pop/rock sound (which focuses more on the rock here).  It’s just got this really BONNIE PINK-ish flow and I kind of like it somewhat up until the chorus where it’s just NIKIIE repeating the title over and over and that’s pretty damn annoying with that broken French going on.  However, I suppose it’s evened out with those cool ad-libbing sections.  I don’t know, but it’s not the best the album has to offer.

5. Canary

I love the fact that NIKIIE included two songs from each of the mini-albums.  Canary comes from “hachimitsu e.p.” and she chose a pretty good track to be included.  It does share it’s sound alongside “Darlin'” but without the harmonica haha.  It’s another of those catchy songs with hooks all over the place.  Though like the track before it, the whole ~I wanna love you, love you~ bit does get a tad repetitive after a while…but the song is still a great choice!

6. LIGHT

Breaking out of the upbeat stuff for the time being, LIGHT comes next and at first it is just NIKIIE and piano with some low-lying strings before some drums are added to the mix.  It kind of reminds me of “Shunkashuutou” for some strange reason, but this is nice for NIKIIE to show her vocals have grown.  I actually quite liked this song and the ending was very pretty as well!

7. Mother’s cry

Acoustic guitars open up our next ballad, Mother’s cry and I assume this is NIKIIE’s emotionally charged song by assuming by the sound of it all.  Once again, I’m charmed by the fact she added harmonica to the arrangement here and it works as this pseudo-country ballad.  It might be the album’s simplest song, but it’s got a whole lot of charm behind it and I kind of liked it more than “LIGHT” strangely enough.

8. Duty Friend

Even though this was released as a digital single, this was also found on her 2nd mini, “CHROMATOGRAPHY” and so elated that she added this to the album, because as it stands, it’s the funkiest song on the album!  There’s a little bit of Stevie Wonder here in the arrangement and I especially loved that the song opened up with saxophones!  It’s definitely a unique track to the album and I still quite enjoy it!

9. mannequin

Strange that she follows “Duty Friend” with mannequin because we suddenly return to ballad land here though unlike the other ballads, this is played out in a much faster pace…kind of like “Gensou Form” from the last era and almost plays out like said song as well, but this track doesn’t go the extra mile here and kind of builds itself up to this kind of odd area.  It’s not a bad song, but I felt like this could’ve had a stronger apex than what it got.

10. Hero:

Onto the next track, Hero: is also another that seems to have a nod to “*(NOTES)” as it just has this kind of mid-tempo happy feel that a lot of that album had.  However, it does bring up reasons why I didn’t like her first album and this song just doesn’t seem to do anything for me…it’s kind of just there for the listen.  Non-threatening though so this is a song that might grow on me in the future.

11. Namida Boshi

The other song chosen from “hachimitsu e.p.”, Namida Boshi was the other choice I probably would’ve chosen to be added on the album because it was such a beautifully structured ballad.  Yeah it’s not too much different from “LIGHT” and “Mother’s cry”, but this came first and it definitely suited the album.  Her voice though is so beautiful in this song.  Great song chosen!

12. Everytime

Of the songs that were on previous releases that were added to the album, I was most elated to see Everytime because it’s just so damn good right now!  I will say that it’s placement before the final track is a bit strange as it’s a song that’s more suited for the beginning of the album.  Still, this song is so catchy and just fun to listen to especially with that chorus going on! lol.  Great addition!

13. From me to you

It did make sense that NIKIIE would end the album with a song like this.  I do like the marching drums in the background here since it adds a little spice to the track which otherwise is kind of that plain mid-tempo ballad.  It’s a nice track and it made for a good ending, but with the other tracks on the album, it is kind of forgettable.

Tracks Recommended

  • Morning in the dark
  • Everytime
  • Duty Friend
  • Mother’s cry
  • Darlin’

Song of Avoidance

  • Un Deux Trois!

Wow, for NIKIIE’s sophomore studio album, Equal is just such an improvement after “*(NOTES)” in many ways!  The songs felt a lot more true to herself and she sounded wonderful in every song, even if a few songs were a bit eh…  I’m just really happy with this album and hope NIKIIE keeps this going! *RECOMMENDED*

Advertisements
 

NIKIIE – CHROMATOGRAPHY September 20, 2012

Filed under: NIKIIE — solarblade @ 10:04 pm

Track Listing

  1. Duty Friend
  2. Running Bird
  3. Hikari no Tsuki
  4. Everytime
  5. harmonic harmonist

1. Duty Friend

I like that NIKIIE kicked things off with the digital single that preceded the mini-album.  I have to say that this is pretty vibrant in NIKIIE terms because of the funky arrangement and cool sax lines at the intro.  It’s pretty good and utilizes her piano playing in a much more upbeat and lively vibe!

2. Running Bird

Though it’s not a NIKIIE release without some ballads that kind of remind me of “*(NOTES)”.  At first I kind of felt the flow of the song sounded off, but things quickly get back in line when the drums join in.  The song is pretty simple and to the point, but I don’t remember much from this one as it’s kind of a slow burner.

3. Hikari no Tsuki

The same thing kind of applies here for Hikari no Tsuki, but it’s a little more simple and features acoustic guitar alongside NIKIIE’s piano.  I can tell there are some jazz stylings, but it’s a lot like “Running Bird” with it’s slow atmosphere and not a real interesting hook.  At least her vocals are really nice in this song.

4. Everytime

As the lead-in song for the mini-album, Everytime was pretty surprising in some ways and even moreso that it’s on a mini-album where things  are a bit toned down in mood.  I kind of like that it’s the other upbeat song but with a bit of an emotional tinge to it.  The Engrish is pretty evident, but the song is just a little ray of sunshine and she pulled this off nicely!

5. harmonic harmonist

The Engrish continues onto the final track of the mini-album but it’s not as weird sounding as in “Everytime”.  When the song started, I was kind of surprised it was just acoustic guitar.  Once again though, once the additional instruments are added, it kind of reminds of her stuff from her debut once again, but a little more refined, I guess?  Not bad, but I kind of forget about it.

 

 

NIKIIE’s second mini-album, I kind of feel the same way as I did with her first one, “hachimitsu e.p.” in the way that, it’s more of the same same that we’ve been getting from her since her debut.  Though unlike her first mini, I only really remember two of the songs (which are oddly enough the digital single, Duty Friend and the promotional track, Everytime).  I kind of want something powerful like “Gensou Form”…is that too much to ask for?

 

NIKIIE – hachimitsu e.p. April 12, 2012

Filed under: NIKIIE — solarblade @ 8:10 am

Track Listing

  1. Canary
  2. Say you love me
  3. Namida Boshi
  4. ito.
  5. 3sec.
  6. good night my sweet home.

1. Canary

Starting things on a rather nice and bright note is Canary and it’s a happy tune.  It doesn’t seem to ring anything different from her debut album which is good because I’m pretty happy with NIKIIE’s pop/rock vibes.  I also think her vocals continue to be solid and fitting for the arrangement.  Yeah, it’s a pretty solid song to kick things off.

2. Say you love me

Our next song is honestly a surprise and this early on the mini.  The second track actually has bit more of an acoustic arrangement instead of the previous song’s more bright and electric-guitar style.  Say you love me is pretty charmful and I love it but it’s weird because the whole ~say you love me~ line reminds me of “Canary’s” ~I wanna love you, love you~…it’s like weird to me but cute.

3. Namida Boshi

Moving into a ballad for Namida Boshi, I was expecting one of the songs to be a ballad at least and once again, it does seem to feel like it would’ve fit “*(NOTES)” quite snuggly since it’s a happy ballad.  NIKIIE’s vocals do sound heavenly here though so it’s definitely a plus for the song.  It’s probably one of the more impressive songs on the mini-album.

4. ito.

I like that ito. came on right after “Namida Boshi” because while it only gets a little more push with the tempo, it’s still pretty soft and the arrangement is once again coming off as bright.  However, it doesn’t sound like any of her previous work and stands out to me in a good way.  Even with that Animal Crossing-like wind instrument, the song is really charming and I’m just enjoying it’s whole Springtime feel.

5. 3sec.

Another ballad eh?  This one does sound quieter than “Namida Boshi” and I’m quite enjoying NIKIIE’s vocals but after the intro, the song moves into this poppy song with strings and acoustic guitar thrown in.  I found it to be intriguing but I felt like I’ve heard this somewhere before but not sure where.

6. good night my sweet home.

Closing this short mini-album, good night my sweet home. is just a piano ballad to close things on a sweet and soft note.  Sadly that kind of stuff bores me to death and for being nearly 6 minutes long, it really is an uneventful kind of song for me and I kind of doze off listening to it.  NIKIIE’s vocals are a bit too quiet here as well and just loses my interest altogether.

NIKIIE’s mini-album might be more or less an extension from “*(NOTES)” which carries that whole mindset of if it isn’t broken, why fix it.  However, to me that means less originality and it kind of had that heard it all before feel to it.  The exception might be ito. since it’s nothing that she’s done before but the rest is kind of there.  It’s alright but nothing spectacular.

 

NIKIIE – *(NOTES) July 17, 2011

Filed under: NIKIIE — solarblade @ 7:15 pm

Track Listing

  1. NAME
  2. Kiss Me
  3. LUV SICK
  4. Shunkashuutou
  5. STAR
  6. Color Noise
  7. Majou
  8. Gensou Form
  9. HIDE&SEEK
  10. Interlude
  11. Ajisai
  12. little summer

1. NAME

NIKIIE begins her debut album with NAME which is more of a softer song to begin things, but it’s a nice start since it’s mid-tempo and shows off NIKIIE’s vocals quite nicely.  I love the chorus of the song since it’s loud and explosive to counter the softer verses.  Nice opening tune actually, but nothing that’s epic.

2. Kiss Me

I enjoy the fact that NIKIIE chose a lighter atmosphere for the next song on the tracklist.  The brighter piano chords and NIKIIE just made the song sound upbeat and lively and I really liked that about Kiss Me.  Add in the chorus that’s in English and I was pleasantly surprised she sound quite clear.  One of my favorite new songs on the album.

3. LUV SICK

As the B-side from “HIDE&SEEK”, LUV SICK never stood out to me on that single unlike it’s fellow B-side so I was slightly disappointed that this track made the album cut.  I do think that since it’s further away from the A-side was a good plan since this could slightly stand out.  However after “Kiss Me” this feels once again disappointing and the only thing that really kept it afloat was the piano and NIKIIE’s bright vocals. 

4. Shunkashuutou

Ahhhh, NIKIIE’s debut A-side.  I’m not fond of ballads being used as a debut (unless you’re alan…then that’s totally a different story).  Shunkashuutou might have been a little too safe for NIKIIE as a ballad since it was so simple and didn’t really stand out unlike the other songs on the single.  It’s alright, but it’s not very memorable despite being an A-side.

5. STAR

I guess after “Shunkashuutou”, NIKIIE wanted to bring the energy back and STAR is probably her most progressive song on the album so far and I actually kind of liked it since there was a band playing along with NIKIIE’s playing on the piano.  It’s really catchy and moves along smoothly and the chorus is definitely a catchy one IMO.  Pretty good song and might surpass “Kiss Me”.

6. Color Noise

Taking more of an acoustic route for the next song, Color Noise might be more simplistic than other songs on the album but at the same time I like this raw side to NIKIIE’s overall sound she’s trying to put out.  Even the bongos were a cute addition to make the song pop a little better.  I am a little saddened that the typical band instruments find themselves pulled in once the second verse starts up, but I still think this was a nice track.

7. Majou

I’m guessing the title must make it the cute song since it translate as “Witch”.  It actually start off pretty much in a cute state of mind with a cute piano melody (which sounds more like it was played on a keyboard).  Things do get broader once the chorus when drums, acoustic guitar, and bass enter the fray.  I must say I wasn’t expecting a song like this, but NIKIIE pulled it off quite nicely!

8. Gensou Form

I’m so happy she included this song on the album since it really is NIKIIE’s best song to date.  It’s just so dramatic and cold to listen to which makes this pretty damn epic and if I’m right the only song with electric guitar XD.  NIKIIE brought some powerful vocals to this track and I just can’t believe that on an album like this, it’s the only one that brings such a powerful and emotional performance…definitely worth the listen at least!

9. HIDE&SEEK

I guess it fits that NIKIIE’s 2nd A-side would actually be a nice song to put after such an amazing “Gensou Form”.  The fact that it’s more upbeat and bright like “Kiss Me” and feels like quite the antithesis to the previous song makes me kind of lulz a bit.  Her voice doesn’t seem as refined like other songs, but I still think this was better than her debut and it has its moments where I’m totally in love with it.

10. Interlude

Before entering the album’s final tracks, we get an interlude for some strange reason and I still question it as I listen to it.  It starts with someone walking down a hallway of an apartment and unlocking a door.  Once it’s opened NIKIIE starts playing this repetitive piano line before more notes change and it becomes less annoying and more pretty.  Then the person shuts the door and the music stops.  Weird interlude and it doesn’t make much sense going into our next song.

11. Ajisai

It was the supposed 3rd single of the era, but NIKIIE slashed that and just released the song digitally before the album’s release.  Unlike “Shunkashuutou’s” piano-based sound for it’s ballad, Ajisai is more acoustic based.  However, I do like after a while piano and strings enter the song and drums even later.  It just grows into this pretty ballad and loving the fact that NIKIIE gets vocally stronger and the song goes on.  Surprised that NIKIIE dashed this as the 3rd A-side.

12. little summer

Ending the album is another ballad but more towards a piano-based track.  I’m a little meh with the track since it doesn’t really go anywhere besides adding strings which makes me think of “Shunkashuutou”.  It does grow to a peak point, but by then the song is just boring me and making me drift off. 

Tracks Recommended

  • Gensou Form
  • STAR
  • Kiss Me
  • HIDE&SEEK
  • Majou

Song of Avoidance

  • little summer

NIKIIE’s debut album is alright but nothing that hasn’t been done before.  She does have blips of greatness like in Gensou Form but she otherwise is your typical piano player with the typical instrumentations.  She needs something that will make her pop out a little more than other piano-ladies out there.  Still, not too bad for a debut.

 

NIKIIE – HIDE&SEEK March 10, 2011

Filed under: NIKIIE — solarblade @ 1:58 am

Track Listing

  1. HIDE & SEEK
  2. LUV SICK
  3. TOXIN

1. HIDE&SEEK

After “Shunkashuutou”, I wasn’t sure what direction NIKIIE would go for her next A-side, but I’m pretty happy that the song is actually upbeat and is full of life.  While I don’t think NIKIIE’s vocals have approved much since her debut, she still gives the song enough personality to move on.  I think it’s a pretty good A-side and is much more memorable than her debut as well.

2. LUV SICK

While I was thinking that this song was going to be more odd because of the title, LUV SICK is a little more of a happier song with piano, strings, and the percussion of the song.  I don’t think it really stands out to me, especially being after “HIDE&SEEK”.  Maybe it’ll grow on me, but for right now it kind of is static to me.

3. TOXIN

So as the 2nd B-side of the single, TOXIN takes a lot after “Gensou Form” with it’s more depressing atmosphere and lonesome outlook.  I must say NIKIIE sure can do these kind of songs since TOXIN is actually a pretty hardcore kind of ballad.  I was more impressed with her vocals and her piano playing.  Ok, hands down this is the best song the single has to offer.

NIKIIE’s 2nd single was able to bypass her first, but barely.  HIDE&SEEK was a nice change of pace from a ballad to something more robust and upbeat and that worked out.  LUV SICK was alright, but it felt more like a carbon copy placed next to the A-side and well TOXIN was just an epic ballad.  Maybe we can get something like that for an A-side next time???

 

NIKIIE – Shunkashuutou December 2, 2010

Filed under: NIKIIE — solarblade @ 11:11 pm

Track Listing

  1. Shunkashuutou
  2. Gensou Form
  3. Otona Kodomo

1. Shunkashuutou

I guess we get another new artist before the end of the year it seems.  NIKIIE’s debut, Shunkashuutou is a simple song to debut with since the song is piano and acoustic guitar and drums and other things.  It might not be the most interesting song, but it’s good for a ballad.  NIKKIE’s vocals slightly remind me of miwa’s for some reason, but I think it’s partially the arrangement’s fault as well.  Still not bad for a debut and I think it’ll sell well maybe.

2. Gensou Form

I seriously think she should’ve made this her debut A-side since the piano arrangement and darker tinged sound sounds so much more refreshing to my ears more than “Shunkashuutou”.  There’s just a lot of things going on in the song that I loved, the electric guitar being used and the waltz-y bridge and her rolling of her tongue when she says ~mirai~.  I was surprised how epic this B-side ended up and it’s such a surprise for me!  Even better was that it was known even before the A-side is surprising!

3. Otona Kodomo

As for the other B-side of the single, Otona Kodomo has a pretty opening that included piano and strings and it has the happy feeling that the other two songs didn’t express so I was interested in what we were getting on this song.  To me, this is the most simplest song off the single, but there’s a lot more instruments like oboe, mandolin, and some others.  It’s cute and almost poetic in ways.  Good song

I will say that NIKIIE’s debut single is what I wasn’t expecting in which both B-side overpower the A-side.  I mean Shunkashuutou is pretty good, but it’s like I’ve heard that arrangement elsewhere whereas both Gensou Form and Otona Kodomo gave us great arrangement styles and strong vocals.  I’m hoping she’ll continue to really great songs like the B-sides!