Kurayami Monogatari

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PASSPO☆ – Sakura Komachi February 19, 2013

Filed under: PASSPO☆ — solarblade @ 10:41 pm

sakurakomachi

Track Listing

  1. Sakura Komachi
  2. No. 1 Boy
  3. Sakura Komachi (Instrumental)
  4. No 1. Boy (Instrumental)

1. Sakura Komachi

After all the awesomeness that happened in the last era, PASSPO☆ kicks off their new era with Sakura Komachi which continues with the edgy rock arrangement.  It’s still got that great song to it and the members sound great as well if not even more edgier than “WING”.  It’s pretty damn catchy though and I love the energy of the entire presentation!!

2. No. 1 Boy

At first I felt that the B-side was even more heavier than “Sakura Komachi”, but it honestly sounds like something Avril Lavigne would approve of because it has a much punkier vibe.  Then again, it has a “CHECK-IN” sound so minus the cool arrangement, the vocals are kind of eh.  Though the solo lines were awesome!

PASSPO☆ made me curious as to what they were going to do after their trilogy and “One World” album and it seems for now they’re sticking to their current rock sound and I love it because both tracks are quite catchy and gives the ladies such a interesting sound together.  Definitely a pretty good single from this idol group!

 

PASSPO☆ – One World November 25, 2012

Filed under: PASSPO☆ — solarblade @ 5:02 am

Track Listing

  1. Departure
  2. Next Flight
  3. Final Vision
  4. Love Diary
  5. WING
  6. WANTED!!
  7. Natsuzora HANABI
  8. Kimi wa Boku wo Suki ni Naru
  9. 2DAYS
  10. Tap My Toe
  11. Pock☆Star
  12. Pink no Parachute
  13. Kimi’iro no Samba
  14. With XXXX
  15. Dear My Friends

1. Departure

Even though they have a single called “DEPARTURE” the group doesn’t legit have a track called that until now!  As it’s just the introduction to the album, Departure does really sound like something you would hear in an airport LOL.  The music is a mix of synths and guitars which is really what the album is about lol.  It’s a really cool intro actually and kicks things off on a good note!

2. Next Flight

Which continues with Next Flight which was the second A-side released here!  Before this song I wasn’t really sold on PASSPO☆ but when they announced the metal trilogy of singles, I was curious as to how the group would pull this off and Next Flight was badass and awesomeness jsut rolled up in one American Metal present!  The vocals were loud and full of energy and the arrangement was just as cool as well.  Definitely my favorite song from the group yet!

3. Final Vision

Our next two tracks are the first of 5 new songs on the album (yeah a little depressing when compared to “CHECK-IN”), Final Vision steps up to the plate first and I was kind of expecting something epic like “Next Flight” but the song is a bit to the books when it comes to PASSPO☆ songs out there. 

4. Love Diary

I guess the same could be said about Love Diary, but at least this one has a bit more attitude behind its execution!  I still will say that it does kind of have a certain “CHECK-IN” feel to it but I’m just loving the girls vocals in the song and this is pretty much idol rock done right, but I still prefer a couple songs above it lol.  Not bad!

5. WING

Moving onto the third of the trilogy and 4th A-side released, WING is about just as badass as “Next Flight” was so I immediately connected with the song since it stands out on the album for sure!  I’m not sure if it represented German Metal well because I don’t know much in the sense of the genre.  For what it is though, this is still pretty hardcore and PASSPO☆ sound good melodically oddly enough!  Another great track on the album!

6. WANTED!!

Another new track appearing on the album, WANTED!! to me sounds like it would’ve fit right after “Next Flight” because it has certain similar qualities about that both share.  I love the guitarwork and the aggressive nature is also a plus to listen to as it helps PASSPO☆ pull off some interesting tones like in “Love Diary”.  This is probably my favorite of the new tracks which is good!

7. Natsuzora HANABI

Released as the 3rd A-side and the second of the trilogy, Natsuzora HANABI represents as their Japanese Rock song which it kind of doesn’t make it unique since their sound was already cemented as such.  Maybe it does stand out because it’s energetic and all, but the song overall didn’t really impress me too much. 

8. Kimi wa Boku wo Suki ni Naru

Moving onto Kimi wa Boku wo Suki ni Naru (or the first single released in the era and is the outcast not being involved in the J-metal trilogy) it really doesn’t fit and it still remains as my least favorite of the singles.  I mean it fits on the album alongside the songs easily, but I don’t know there’s something about it that didn’t work.  It just sounds like “CHECK-IN” leftovers (which I have said before).  Blaaaaah

9. 2DAYS

I found it interesting that all the Handshake editions-only B-sides made the cut (which were only the trilogy singles, mind you).  2DAYS was from “WING” and I was most happy with that decision since it was my favorite B-side next to “RUIN”.  There’s just something about 2DAYS that ranks it up their with “WING” and “Next Flight”.  I think it has the American rock style down pat and it does somewhat sound like “Next Flight” as well.  Still, it’s a pretty well-handled track and one of the fun songs on the album…plus the verses are so cool!

10. Tap My Toe

Something about Tap My Toe just didn’t seem to work with me when I listened to it for the first time.  As I started listening to it more, I think it’s more of the vocals clashing that kind of pushed me away.  The song isn’t the powerful either which is a little strange, but some of the arrangement and chords were handled nicely!  It’s grown on me after the first time for sure, but there’s something missing here.

11. Pock☆Star

Our next track was the lone B-side off the Handshake edition of “Next Flight”.  From the single review, I’ve said this song is pretty standard for PASSPO☆ which still remains true for the album, but I feel like I’ve grown less fond of it because it’s rather plain and the vocals are kind of all over the place (even for PASSPO☆).  It could’ve been so much better!

12. Pink no Parachute

The same thing could be said about our next track as well (this being from “Natsuzora HANABI”), Pink no Parachute also has some problems but the song sounds almost a bit stiff and robotic which is a big difference from “Pock☆Star” being a bit weird.  Probably my least favorite of the tracks on the album, it just didn’t stick and the vocals were its weakest point.

13. Kimi’iro no Samba

It’s weird but our final new song off the album, Kimi’iro no Samba doesn’t seem to fit the albun at all because it has a unique style against the rest of the tracks with its Samba style which is nice to hear from the group and there is some light rock influences, but it just doesn’t fit the album (maybe it does, but the rest of the album tracks…it sticks out like a sore thumb).  It’s a fun song though, that I will say.

14. With XXXX

The last two tracks are actual B-sides (as in not Handshake only tracks).  With XXXX comes from “Kimi wa Boku wo Suki ni Naru” and honestly, I would’ve preferred “RUIN” from the single instead, but I can see why this song was chosen because it’s light and kind of poppy when compared to the rest of the album.  There’s not much to say about it, but it’s also slightly out of place on the album, but after “Kimi’iro no Samba”, this was a bit more like old PASSPO☆.

15. Dear My Friends

As the main B-side from “Natsuzora HANABI”, Dear My Friends was an appropriate way to close the album funny enough because it just has the ending quality to it and ends the album on a good note by being the energetic idol rock track.  Even though I didn’t find it very appealing on the single, it did grow, but I still think it’s like a SCANDAL song. 

Tracks Recommended

  • Next Flight
  • WING
  • WANTED!!
  • 2DAYS
  • Love Diary

Song of Avoidance

  • Pink no Parachute

First things first, I have to say that One World as a whole did SO MUCH better for PASSPO☆ than what “CHECK-IN” did.  I love that the group went with this heavier style and it worked for sure.  Of course a couple of problems were in the fact that really 1/3 of the album was new tracks so majority was old songs (though the Handshake edition songs were passed over by many in the singles).  Overall, it’s a major upgrade for them and I hope they continue to impress me with future releases!

 

PASSPO☆ – WING October 7, 2012

Filed under: PASSPO☆ — solarblade @ 3:16 am

Track Listing

  1. WING
  2. Dom Dom Freedom
  3. 2DAYS (CD+Individual Handshake Event only)
  4. WING (Instrumental)
  5. Dom Dom Freedom (Instrumental)
  6. 2DAYS (Instrumental)

1. WING

With the theme of German Metal for this A-side, I was kind of expecting WING to be ridiculous and out of place like they were trying to be Rammstein for a second.  I can see where the influence of the style is in this song and I actually kind of approve it.  It’s a bit more heavier and sounds a LOT better from “Natsuzora HANABI” at least.  Everyone gets a solo and their rock vocals are pretty strong too!  I even would say this is their best of the trilogy of singles!

2. Dom Dom Freedom

I guess this metal phase continues for the B-side which has such a cool riff in the beginning!  Though unlike “WING”, the song is a bit more bright, but the song continues to have this epic guitar arrangement and the ladies all sound just as good as in the lead track.  The chorus is a little meh, but overall the song is mostly good!

3. 2DAYS

To me, 2DAYS is kind of of the lightest of the three tracks and it oddly reminds me of a lighter “Next Flight” but the vocals are still there and they sound rather good for the song.  Even some of the filtering is kind of cool to me.  Definitely a cool track!

 

 

As the trilogy comes to a close, WING to me is probably the best single PASSPO☆ has had since becoming a major label group!  WING is definitely an edgy metal song and they pulled it off real good, to the point where it surpasses “Next Flight”!  Dom Dom Freedom is also quite good if you excuse that chorus….everything else was good!  Even 2DAYS managed to be really good and different for the group!  One can wonder that after this, an album will come….all rockin’ goodness!!!!

 

PASSPO☆ – Natsuzora HANABI August 22, 2012

Filed under: PASSPO☆ — solarblade @ 5:43 am

Track Listing

  1. Natsuzora HANABI
  2. Dear My Friends
  3. Pink no Parachute (CD+Individual Handshake Event only)
  4. Natsuzora HANABI (Instrumental)
  5. Dear My Friends (Instrumental)
  6. Pink no Parachute (Instrumental)

1. Natsuzora HANABI

It seems the group decided to continue on their world tour by coming back to Japan for Natsuzora HANABI but I like that since they also seemed to keep the rockin’ guitarwork from “Next Flight” in this song.  I found it back to their style but with more pep from the girls.  That being said, while it is a lot more energetic, I felt like their last A-side brought it better as a representation of the group. 

2. Dear My Friends

Title is so overused these days…anyways PASSPO☆ really struck my with this song because it really reminds me of a SCANDAL song for some reason.  It’s loud and persitant with its energy.  Add in the melodic chorus and you kind of get this song basically.  The guitar solo is pretty awesome but it wasn’t enough to save the song in my opinion.

3. Pink no Parachute

Like the single, this is kind of going back to their “CHECK-IN” album with it’s fusion of idol pop and their outing to do rock.  The song doesn’t really stand out in their discography but it’s slightly charming in its own way.  I think my favorite parts are the bridges but everything else is just kind of meh. 

 

 

To me, Natsuzora HANABI isn’t as attracting or as epic as “Next Flight” was but I guess this field trip is starting to land since the leading A-side was all Japanese and all that.  It’s different for the group and I liked it, but it wasn’t as good.  Dear My Friends and Pink no Parachute is just PASSPO☆’s normal rock style which doesn’t seem to phase me any…overall it’s just an OK single.

 

PASSPO☆ – Next Flight June 28, 2012

Filed under: PASSPO☆ — solarblade @ 9:14 am

Track Listing

  1. Next Flight
  2. Bathtub
  3. Pock☆Star (CD+Individual Handshake Event only)
  4. Next Flight (Instrumental)
  5. Bathtub (Instrumental)
  6. Pock☆Star (Instrumental)

1. Next Flight

Since the group is going on a set of themed singles, it was pretty cool that they chose metal for their first of these singles.  Next Flight is not hard death, but it’s edgy and the girls get solos and they sound really good!  I just loved the energy and force behind it and kind of stands out from previous PASSPO efforts.

2. Bathtub

Strange title aside, Bathtub is a bit more towards what I’m used to by the group which is good and bad in ways.  I mean it’s lighter than “Next Flight” and all that but the vocals still sound quite strong and together.  It does seem to lack what the A-side and that’s energy.  Still a lot better than stuff on their last album.

3. Pock☆Star

Fitting in quite nicely with the theme of the single, Pock☆Star fits as the more genki track since there’s a lot of chanting as well as which is pretty cool to hear.  Sadly, the song is kind of otherwise there for the arrangement which is rockin’ and awesome.  Kind of forgetful though.

 

 

PASSPO☆ is definitely quite something now after this single.  Next Flight is probably the best surprise I’ve gotten all year.  It’s so badass and quite unexpected for an idol group!  I mean American rock stars? La Metal?  Count me in!  Bathtub and Pock☆Star though are more of what I came to expect from them.  I wonder what their next theme might be

 

PASSPO☆ – Kimi wa Boku wo Suki ni Naru March 7, 2012

Filed under: PASSPO☆ — solarblade @ 5:25 am

Track Listing

  1. Kimi wa Boku wo Suki ni Naru
  2. With XXXX
  3. RUIN
  4. Kimi wa Boku wo Suki ni Naru (Off Vocal ver.)

1. Kimi wa Boku wo Suki ni Naru

I really think the group is starting to get a little stale with their music even though this is their first A-side since “CHECK-IN”.  What I mean is that the song doesn’t seem to bring anything new to the table since the use of guitars were used all over on that album.  The good thing though is that melody and arrangement has a bit more effort going along so it stands out just a smidge more than their album songs.  I still don’t think it’s amazing stuff but I guess it’s a fair way to begin an era.

2. With XXXX

At least they tried for something different with the first B-side here.  I love that I hear a bit more synths in the arrangement mixed with natural instruments like acoustic and electric guitar.  It’s still a little underwhelming for me but at least it doesn’t feel like a “CHECK-IN” throwaway.

3. RUIN

The other B-side seems to be the heaviest the group has to offer here and that’s good because I liked their songs that sounds like “Street Fighter” essentially.  There seem to be some great deep singers in the group because they took the lead here.  It’s pretty aggressive I can’t lie about that and they sound great…definitely the single’s best track.

 

 

Beginning their third era (second major), Kimi wa Boku wo Suki ni Naru overall felt like it was “CHECK-IN” leftovers but oddly enough slightly better than said album’s songs.  RUIN is definitely the best of the three but both the leading song and With XXXX could be enjoyable in the right mood and all that.  Not bad, but could be better basically.

 

PASSPO☆ – CHECK-IN December 13, 2011

Filed under: PASSPO☆ — solarblade @ 9:06 am

Track Listing

  1. Boarding
  2. Shoujo Hikou
  3. Kiss=Suki
  4. Hello
  5. Street Fighter
  6. Turn Round
  7. Material Girl
  8. Uhae!
  9. Starting Over
  10. ViVi Natsu
  11. Jaa ne…
  12. Hakana
  13. ROCK DA WEEK
  14. See You Again
  15. Hareru yo

1. Boarding

Marked as the introduction, Boarding sounds really cool for some reason with a darker electronic start.  Now I don’t know the members at all but one of the starts talking like she’s welcoming us to the album which is a nice start I say.  At the end all the members shout ~PASSPO, TAKE OFF!!~.  Which I’m sure is a nod to there first album, “TAKE☆OFF”…Nice!

2. Shoujo Hikou

Fitting to make the first full song be the group’s first major label A-side.  Then again it has the record of being at the top of the Oricon charts and then the next week crashing all the way down to #102.  DAMN.  Getting back to the song at hand, I really only remember the song because of the whole ~yeah yeah~ parts.  I mean it’s an alright song but “ViVi Natsu” totally took over as a much better track.

3. Kiss=Suki

The first new song on the album, Kiss=Suki is of course going to be much cuter than the last song but I’m ok with that because this song has such a good chorus.  It’s just catchy and full of life and brings is a lot of good stuff.  The rest of the song like the verses are a bit weaker and kind of is forgettable but at least it’s remedied with that awesome chorus.  I’m rather on the fence for this song, but in the end I think I’ll grow to enjoy it all the way through.

4. Hello

I’m starting to worry that the arrangements aren’t really gonna change that much since I’m beginning to get that stale feeling at the fourth song of the album.  Hello does have strings amongst pop/rock melody and I’m just kind of meh with the song since it also reminds me of “Shoujo Hikou” in some respects.  I’m also noticing no solos through the ladies yet…quite absurd if you ask me xD

5. Street Fighter

At least something different steps up when we get to Street Fighter.  It actually sounds different from the previous three tracks and there seems to be parts that have dual parts (or where one girl sounds louder than the other).  I actually enjoyed this song because of its more angsty arrangement and better vocals.

6. Turn Round

The opening for Turn Round does sound like a great song for chanting and such.  It kind of goes back to the earlier songs with such a typical pop/rock melody that kind of bores me.  This one didn’t really work because the bridge to the chorus was awkward and the girls didn’t sound as vocally great either.  I’m not really into this song unfortunately.

7. Material Girl

~material girl…~…Yeah, our next song kind of goes back to “Street Fighter” with the whole angsty feel with gritty guitars and vocals (which it sounds like some of the members aren’t even a part of it).  At first, I thought it was pretty good, but then the chorus happened and I was quickly turned off.  Another song that’s probably left better for touring.  At least it’s nice to hear solo lines here…but that’s bout it.

8. Uhae!

To be honest, I could’ve lived without any of the B-sides from the era making the album’s tracklist but here we are with all three making it.  “Shoujo Hikou’s” B-side is first and at the time when I first reviewed this, I liked it a bit more than the A-side but since then and on this album, it’s a bit like some other track on the album which at this point makes me disappointed, but this is kind of catchy…even if the vocals aren’t up to par.

9. Starting Over

I got “Street Fighter” vibes once again for Starting Over which is pretty much punkish but with girls singing together.  I didn’t think they could make a song sound so plain but they managed it with this one.  Like I’ve said numerous times, the chorus is just so 1-dimensional and bland…but the verses actual had hope…but yeah ruined…

10. ViVi Natsu

Trying to shake off this boredom of this album comes the second A-side released and I really liked it when I first heard it.  There’s a lot of elements that really stood out to me and just sounds a whole lot like their whole shtick of being flight attendents (even though it’s a summer song).  It still picks me up after the amount of meh songs which is good because I needed it at this point!

11. Jaa ne…

Then like on the “ViVi Natsu”, the next track after the A-side is one of the two B-sides from that single.  Funny enough, I think they should’ve placed this song towards the first half of the album since it’s happy-go-lucky presence sounds like it should be there and not towards the end.  I will say the song actually stood out to me a little bit but I’m not sure why since it’s kind of the idol pop that I find bland.  It’s alright, much better than some of the album tracks TBH.

12. Hakana

It seems like the album is getting more interesting towards the end since a song like Hakana popped up.  It took the stuff that the album has used throughout and made it a bit more poppy and slightly synthy as well which gives it a happy and peppy feeling (like “Jaa ne…” but less typical).  It’s fun and I hear ~PASSPO☆~ being used at least once which is interesting lol.  Pretty good song!

13. ROCK DA WEEK

Yeah the other B-side from “ViVi Natsu” makes an appearance and I’m kind of shrugging this song since I’m not a fan of it though on the album it actually stands out because it has brass in its arrangement and the girls are singing a bit more brazenly.  I will say the chorus has grown on me even though their singing bout the days of the week and such.  It’s short but sweet.

14. See You Again

As the album’s longest song at 5 minutes, See You Again to me should’ve signified as the last song since the title kind of has that ending quality to it.  It is also the closest we get to a ballad on this album which is sad but it’s alright since I liked the acoustic guitar feel of the song with a lil bit of electric in it.  It’s alright, but like the other songs, it doesn’t have longevity.

15. Hareru yo

The actual final track, Hareru yo is kind of unfitting to close the album since it’s peppy like the other songs but not as much because it slightly has the closing feel.  It’s alright but nothing to notable in this song.  It’s just plain for me.  I don’t know why but this shouldn’t have been the final song on the album.

Tracks Recommended

  • Street Fighter
  • ViVi Natsu
  • Hakana
  • ROCK DA WEEK

Song of Avoidance

  • Material Girl

I didn’t have high hopes for PASSPO☆’s second album (first major) and sadly my low expectations really showed me that I was kind of correct on how I was going to feel about the album.  I will say that the album is pretty consistent on the upbeat tunes (no true ballads, but nothing very ballsy as well).  There’s a couple of good songs, but otherwise, I was disappointed in this one x.x