Kurayami Monogatari

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Rie fu & the fu – BIGGER PICTURE November 28, 2012

Filed under: Rie fu — solarblade @ 8:02 am

Track Listing

  1. OMG
  2. BIGGER PICTURE
  3. LUCKY DAY
  4. UNTOLD
  5. PRE-LOVE SONG
  6. FREE MONEY
  7. THE LOOK
  8. GOMI
  9. JUST LIKE THE MOON
  10. SILENCE

1. OMG

When I start up the album, I wasn’t sure what I was getting into and it seems with OMG it’s light stuff and almost too simple in a way since it feels like it’s done as a live recording in a studio.  I am also surprised to hear Rie fu singing in English for most of it since I’m more used to Japanese from her.  It has a certain oldies sound going which is cool too..there’s just something missing…like a heavier bass…and lord cowbells?

2. BIGGER PICTURE

Being a little bit more funky, the title track BIGGER PICTURE is more of the same of what I said in “OMG” but more of it.  The way Rie sings is kind of cool and uncertain at the same time.  Then this kind of in your face blast of sound takes over…I suppose its guitar right?  It’s unique on the album, I can’t deny that but once again needs a bit more power behind it.

3. LUCKY DAY

LUCKY DAY kind of sounds like old Rie fu slightly with majority of the arrangement done by the acoustic guitar which is a pleasant change from the previous tracks.  Plus it’s nice hearing Rie fu singing in Japanese…this actually was a pretty good track and reminds me of the old Rie.

4. UNTOLD

I liked the opening line Rie fu sings at the intro for UNTOLD.  I’m liking her vocals in this song since she’s more confident and actually kind of belting some of the notes as well as hitting some high notes that are just so pretty.  For as simple as the song is, I really paid a lot of attention on Rie fu who shined a lot here!

5. PRE-LOVE SONG

With how well I enjoyed “UNTOLD”, PRE-LOVE SONG also kind of says a lot since Rie fu tells a pretty story with such a minimal arrangement which is a bit of a shocker.  I just love the vocals here, but some of the weird instrumentation like the shaker is a bit unnecessary to me.  I just wanna hear Rie plz.

6. FREE MONEY

Moving to the second half of the album, FREE MONEY opens with a strings intro before a edgier and gritty sound moves in giving this kind of Western showdown feel (at least that’s what I thought).  Rie fu then joins in and her vocals are pretty much filtered for most (if not all) for the tune.  It’s a bit unusual on the album, but not bad.

7. THE LOOK

Why do I feel like when I listen to this song, I think of Kill Bill?  It must that longing feel of the song and the kind of dated feel.  I don’t remember much of the song besides the guitar arrangement and Rie fu in the chorus doing that ~so don’t give me the look~ that’s about it >.>  Then again it’s a pretty short song too.

8. GOMI

I think this is the first time I heard synths in a song on the album.  GOMI sounds like it could’ve fit on “URBAN ROMANTIC” for some reason.  I think it’s the piano and the mood of the song as well.  The chorus though kind of gets weird and a bit TOO fuzzy plus during those parts, Rie is once again filtered.  It’s just not working out.

9. JUST LIKE THE MOON

I feel like simplistic suits Rie a lot more than trying to be something else.  JUST LIKE THE MOON fits into my thoughts since it’s slower and Rie isn’t too filtered but layered here which works somewhat better here.  Like the first two tracks off the album, the tune sounds like oldies (50’s).  Not a bad song actually ^_^

10. SILENCE

Ending the album, SILENCE like the other ballads on the album is a really nice and quiet track from Rie.  It also shares the whole story-telling in the lyrics like “PRE-LOVE SONG”.  It does build-up more at the halfway point which is great.  Not a bad way to close the album, but I’m happy we’re finished lol.

Tracks Recommended

  • LUCKY DAY
  • UNTOLD
  • JUST LIKE THE MOON

Song of Avoidance

  • GOMI

I really wished I could be more happier about this album, but good lord was this album boring as hell.  The fact that Rie fu went for such an unplugged setting for BIGGER PICTURE really didn’t work to her favor despite her vocals are still lovely!  This album just lacked effort IMO…blech…

 

Rie fu – For You February 17, 2011

Filed under: Rie fu — solarblade @ 8:53 pm

Track Listing

  1. For You
  2. Come on Come on ~Rie fu no Eikaiwa Kouza~
  3. One-Bite
  4. For You ~Instrumental~

1. For You

It’s nice to see that Rie fu returned to what she got well-known for and that’s soft pop songs like For You.  I love the fact that she included some sparkly synths and xylophone in the arrangement with the piano while the chorus has stuff that sounds like it’d be reminescent of “URBAN ROMANTIC”.  It’s quite catchy and I remember this a whole lot better than “PRESENT” (which was her last single, if you can’t remember since it’s been a long time since the single’s release).

2. Come on Come on ~Rie fu no Eikaiwa Kouza~

The first B-side is quite happy and upbeat and full of good English which isn’t surprising, but I love the atmosphere of the song since Rie fu is just having fun here.  It’s just a conventional song for me and sort of inspirational in a way and that’s a great thing to have.  She really scored with this song, though it feels really short for some off reason.

3. One-Bite

Girl, you are kinky for having a title like that!  Anyway, what sounded like it should’ve been a pretty upbeat or wild song, turned out to be quite the ballad on the single since it’s piano and strings with back-up vocals to helo Rie fu along.  It sounds like something that belongs on “Tobira Album” or “at Rie sessions”, but it’s more the former since there isn’t any help from other artists.  Otherwise, this song is a little boring for me, but Rie’s vocals are still nice to hear

Has it been that long since “PRESENT”?  Jeeze, after that fail of an album with “at Rie sessions”, Rie fu returns with an actual strong single with For You.  I love that Rie hasn’t totally left the ideas from “URBAN ROMANTIC” and stuck with it for the main track and her lighthearted fun side with Come on Come on.  Though she did cater to the older fans with One-Bite, but I got too bored with that track, but it might be worth a listen.  Still what a nice start to a new era.

 

Rie fu – at Rie sessions April 5, 2010

Filed under: Rie fu — solarblade @ 6:12 am

Track Listing

  1. Stay with me ~Ren’ai Nante Himatsubushi~
  2. Just Like You
  3. Irodotte
  4. Don’t Worry
  5. STAR
  6. Sunshine Forehead
  7. My Start
  8. Gilles
  9. Laundry
  10. Bright Life
  11. Hitotsu Hitotsu

1. Stay with me ~Ren’ai Nante Himatsubushi~

Starting this collaboration album, Rie fu begins with the album’s main promotional song which is a collaboration with Lily Franky and BOSE from Schadaraparr.  Honestly, this song wasn’t the best song to really have had promote the album.  Rie fu is doing quite nicely, but it’s the fact Lily and BOSE are just so boring and felt like some weird stuff going on…especially BOSE’s rapping section which was a whole ton of crap given the arrangement as well.  Lily Franky’s vocals were pretty lifeless cept for that last chorus runthrough with Rie…meh.

2. Just Like You

One of the few tracks I was actually looking forward to because it’s another collaboration with fellow labelmate LEO Imai.  The most unfortuate thing is that this is not “Time Traffic”.  I’m guessing LEO is playing the acoustic guitar and even better is that LEO also provides backup vocals in the English tune.  Then came the biggest blow to find out that the song is 2 minutes long.  It’s a pretty sentimental song and the lyrics came off really nicely for me.  Good little tune.

3. Irodotte

To be honest, I have no idea who Mina Ganaha or Mayumix is, so our next collaboration just has no expectations from me.  Though I think one of them does backup for Rie, I bet.  Getting a little more upbeat than the previous songs, this has a pretty “URBAN ROMANTIC” sound to it and for that I’m happy to hear that.  I’m not sure but there’s something about this song that just sounds good and it might be for the rather joyful sound and the bridge where things get ethereal, even for a Rie song lol.

4. Don’t Worry

Working with KAT and Yuka from moumoon, I didn’t know what I was getting from Rie in this song but it’s great to hear other vocals besides Rie’s in the song.  The song is acoustic-based and Yuka only really appears for the chorus and some background stuff, but this song felt longer than it should’ve been, but I love the rather solemn sound of that chorus. 

5. STAR

I didn’t see a Rie fu and Ifu Sarasa collaboration at all, so hearing this happening, I was surprised that it mixes the best of both worlds.  Kenji Suzuki plays guitar for this mix.  The music definitely has this “URBAN ROMANTIC” flair to it and the way Ifu and Rie’s vocals mix are really nice.  It’s a silly song at its core, but one that gave the album more color and Ifu really did great with the arrangement.

6. Sunshine Forehead

I’ve heard of Curly Giraffe, but never heard their music, but if it’s anything like this song I’m all aboard because of it’s rather outdoors-y feel and that flute opening to tie it altogether.  The lead singer can be heard in the chorus and a lil after and some parts in the second chorus.  He doesn’t really intrude the song and with Rie continuing on, I was impressed with this English song.

7. My Start

Never heard of either Kenichi Takemoto or Peter Kvint, but with My Start it makes me wonder how they ended this song with a rather 60’s/Beatles’s-ish sound for this song.  Another English song coming from Rie fu, this one actually kind of bored me for some reason.  Some of the lyrics is rather off the wall, but kind of cool, but the chorus just doesn’t make a lot of sense, but w/e.

8. Gilles

Working with artists NAOTO from ORANGE RANGE and kohei from HOI FESTA, Gilles seem a little better than some other tracks since both joined artists are just playing guitar while Rie fu sings along once again in English (there’s a lot of English on this album, I noticed).  It’s nice, but doesn’t seem to have any hook to it, to make it worthwhile.

9. Laundry

Laundry brings us the collaboration between Rie, YUI from RYTHEM and Akiko Nakashima.  Now the three girls here didn’t do such a great job together as much as the triple girl collab in “Don’t Worry”.  It seems the girls were all over the place in singing various points simulataneously…add in the fact that the song just is boring except for the ad-libbing middle and song cuts out to the sounds of laundry…that was a little weird……yea.

10. Bright Life

Ahhh working with Satou Honoka from aluto, Bright Life definitely sounds like something that would come off of “ROSE ALBUM” or even “Tobira Album”.  It’s a simple piano-based ballad from the girl and even though Satou doesn’t vocally appear, I’m guessing she’s playing the piano.  Simplistic and kind of nice to hear Rie fu in Japanese again!

11. Hitotsu Hitotsu

Ending the album off with a collaborative effort with Seira (Not Seira Kagami), Shiina Junpei, and Chris Tomoko.  Another acoustic song on the album, this one doesn’t really strike me any either.  Not sure why, but while it does make for a good album ending, this kind of faded away from me.  I’ll admit though that the clapping parts in the song were cute.  Rest of it just kind of passed by.

Tracks Recommended

  • Irodotte
  • STAR
  • Sunshine Forehead
  • Just Like You

Song of Avoidance

  • Stay with me ~Ren’ai Nante Himatsubushi~

Classified as Rie’s 5th album, this actually was pretty underwhelming when compared to previous album, “ROSE ALBUM” and even “URBAN ROMANTIC” were better.  At first it seemed like it was going great, but right after Sunshine Forehead, things got boring really quick for me.  I’d say stick with the songs in the first half rather than the 2nd half…

 

Rie fu – URBAN ROMANTIC April 8, 2009

Filed under: Rie fu — solarblade @ 5:15 pm
Tags: , ,

urbanromantic

Track Listing

  1. Something In My Head
  2. Sunny Days
  3. Hey I’m Calling Up!
  4. Business
  5. Anata wo Omoeba Afureru Namida
  6. Romantic
  7. drummy
  8. She Can’t Say No ~no to ienai onna~
  9. Money Will Love You (English Version)
  10. Itsuka Kono Michi no Saki ni ~All The Way~
  11. PRESENT
  12. SUKI
  13. Romance (Strings Version)

1. Something In My Head

There is definitly something in her head when this album starts and it’s sort of unexpected.  Unlike the synths of “Romantic”, this track sounds so lively and cute with it’s 70’s retro feel.  It’s quite strange and since a good portion is in English which makes the song a lot more easier to connect with.  Great song to start off the album.

2. Sunny Days

I love how a string bass begins Sunny Days before the hectic drums and strong piano presence appears.  It also has a pretty 70’s-like vibe in the song, but being such a short track was it’s letdown.  Still what we got from the song was fun and passionate and is an early favorite of mine.

3. Hey I’m Calling Up!

I’m obviously hearing some nice things about Hey I’m Calling Up.  Unlike the fun vibes of the last two tracks, things seem to have calmed down a bit.  Sadly, the song to me isn’t that memorable, but I do love her enthusiasm to the song.  Maybe it’ll work for people who like mid-tempo pop tracks.

4. Business

Luckily, Business is just so amazing.  I love how synthy this is and how Rie fu starts singing about drinking before going into her native tongue.  It’s definitly got a J-teky vibe, but without the vocoder and seriously it’s one of the album’s best tracks right.  Rie fu and synths = WIN, especially with this and our sixth track. 

5. Anata wo Oboeta Afureru Namida

What’s up with the synthetic elements that are making this album?  It’s so different from “Tobira Album”.  Our next track at first seemed to be taking the ballad route, but the chorus definitly proves that it’s more of a pop song with rock touches.  I love the piano melody and the random synth beats that pop in every so often.  It’s pretty good but nothing too special.

6. Romantic

Then again, it is put in between the awesome tracks.  Romantic started off (or did it?) this era off on a surprising not because well this is the lone track where Taku from m-flo had a part in and surprisingly fits the albums mood which is funny because if it wasn’t on this album, I’m sure the album wouldn’t have been so synthy, right?  I mean, Romantic is still a little strange to the hardcore Rie fu fans (then again this album so far is surprising).  Still amazing J-tek track.

7. drummy

drummy, is definitly much on the percussion and the song has a pretty funky sound and even though it slowly adds different instruments as time passes by.  There’s a synth sound that sounded like it was going to a bigger sound, but then it just pwns me and goes to a new verse.  I’d suggest it’s a pretty jazzy sound and eventually gets to a pretty sweet chorus.  Nice track.

8. She Can’t Say No ~no te ienai onna~

Our shortest track appears next and is all in English.  The lyrics are so poetic and Rie fu projects this in a pretty interesting fashion and given an upbeat sound was a nice touch.  What was that buzz though…it just seemed random, there’s other moments in it too.  Iono, another song that should’ve been longer.

9. Money Will Love You (English Version)

Hey, an English Version of a track from the “Romantic” single.  It’s nice to actually hear the song in an easier way.  I really loved the lyrics of the song, even though the meaning is pretty blunt and sometimes doesn’t exactly quite make sense when she says ~money will love you~.  I guess it’s better….?

10. Itsuka Kono Machi no Saki ni ~All The Way~

Our next song seems to pull Rie fu towards her past sound because it’s heavily folkish and Rie fu is using more of her higher pitches in the verses which was interesting.  Then she pulled the biggest WTF moment of the album when during the first verse, I hear ~how to fuck it up and know I’m doing the best…~  I was like whoa whoa whoa!  Rie fu cussed?  It’s just was so shocking that the rest of the song kind of passed by LOL. 

11. PRESENT

Our final single of the era actually sounds so much better on the album than it did on the single.  It’s still not the most memorable ballad in her collection, but now I can actually appreciate it without tying it to the B-sides as much.  She sounds so amazing in this song though, but the arrangement is a little boring.  Ok song

12. SUKI

SUKI switches different things with “PRESENT”.  Like instead of piano fronting the song there’s just an acoustic ballad and a light beat to keep things calm and collected.  I little time passes by, but it turns to be adding another acoustic guitar and light played beats.  I actually prefer this to “PRESENT” as it was just a nice calm track to listen to.

13. Romantic (Strings Version)

We end the album with a rearranged version of Taku’s track.  Basically taking all of the synth elements out and put in some strings and piano made the song sound pretty good.  It isn’t as good as the original, but hearing Rie fu resinging the track though was a smart choice because I think the song is also a bit faster.  One thing I didn’t like about is the awkward transitioning from bridge into the chorus…it’s just didn’t flow well into each other.

Tracks Recommended

  • Business
  • Romantic
  • SUKI
  • Something In My Head
  • drummy

Song of Avoidance

  • Hey I’m Calling Up

I really enjoyed this album a lot more than Tobira Album for sure.  The new synth idea she’s taking is definitly something to keep considering since her best stuff was under it.  I still don’t know why Rie fu omitted “HOME” for the album since I liked it, but other than that this album was pretty calm and nice.

 

Rie fu – PRESENT March 6, 2009

Filed under: Rie fu — solarblade @ 10:23 am
Tags: , , ,

present

Track Listing

  1. PRESENT
  2. Time Traffic (Rie fu Mix)
  3. Douyara Kyou mo Shibuya made

1. PRESENT

PRESENT brings back Rie fu back down from her electro high with this piano ballad.  Seriously?  This was definitly not the direction I was expecting her to make and this song just happened to be a disappointing factor mainly because it fails to really shine.  Her voice is nice, but this could’ve been so much more exciting.  Jeeze…

2. Time Traffic (Rie fu mix)

At first I didn’t understand why there was a (Rie fu mix) tied along, but with some searching around it turns out it was a collaborative effort with Rie fu and LEO Imai and it shows because they both are singing in the chorus while Rie fu takes the verses by herself.  Honestly, this should’ve been the A-side because it’s got this minor urban feel to it that I really like and even though both voices mesh and LEO’s English is way better, this is a good track.

3. Douyara Kyou mo Shibuya made

The last B-side is actually Rie fu returning to a more pop side of sound.  It’s a bit more upbeat and Rie fu radiates some happy moments here.  Musically it sounds a little ethereal and the acoustic guitar just strums along lazily which is nice for sure.  I hope this is actually on “URBAN ROMANTIC”.

 

 

Yeah, PRESENT was a very poor choice for a follow-up to “romantic”.  Luckily, what saved the single was the B-sides both having that classic Rie fu sound but not making it bored at all.  Even up and coming artist LEO Imai appears and that was pretty cool.

 

Rie fu – Romantic January 23, 2009

Filed under: Rie fu — solarblade @ 12:14 pm
Tags: , ,

romantic

Track Listing

  1. Romantic
  2. In The Airplane
  3. Money Will Love You

1. Romantic

Rie fu usually does folk pop songs right?  Well she throws a wrench into that mindset with Romantic which is produced by Taku of m-flo fame.  The most noticeable change is the the song is quite heavy on the synths and has a pretty chill dance beat.  Honestly, this song reminds me of Eri Nobuchika’s “SING A SONG” by similar arrangement like the beat is similar and how Rie fu gradually gets louder until the chorus happens.  Granted that she has never done a dance track she’s done well here.  I still think that’ll it’ll be a thorn on the album as it won’t sound like anything else.

2. In The Airplane

We finally get back to what Rie fu is more commonly known for and that’s quirky pop tracks.  This one has a synth buzz in the song and Rie fu’s switch between JPN & USA is great and has the nice classic sound to it.  I do question her higher notes as they do come out quite thin, but the attitude of the song is just sweet. 

3. Money Will Love You

Somewhat of the ballad of the single, Money Will Love You is a pretty soft song and is quite folkish.  It’s one of those songs that just sounds really nice listening to it before bed because it’s quite nice and calm.  Even though I really don’t know what the song is exactly about because ~Money Will Love You~ sounds odd in a song like this.

 

 

Rie fu surprised many with this release and most of the people thought this was a nice one at that as well.  Romantic is a great dance track that should be given a worthwhile listen.  In The Airplane is quite an interesting listen as well, but I’m not sure if she has done something like this before, but right now it’s great.  Money Will Love You is typical Rie fu, but that’s not a bad thing at all. 

 

Rie fu – HOME December 20, 2008

Filed under: Rie fu — solarblade @ 7:13 pm
Tags: , ,

home

Track Listing

  1. HOME
  2. Wait For Me
  3. (They Long To Be) Close To You

1. HOME

We begin this single with the piano heavy HOME, Rie fu’s voice is a little nasally, but I do love how she pronounces things correctly.  The song starts out like a ballad, but then it turns into this nice pop song that is still heavily involved with the piano.  It seems a little jazzy at times as well, so it’s a cool listen.

2. Wait For Me

Wait For Me is the ballad of the single and even though Rie sounds very nice here, the song just doesn’t speak to me.  It’s kind of boring when you really look at it.  It sounds live though which is surprising, but I don’t think it’s the case.  So much for that right?

3. (They Long To Be) Close To You

A cover of The Carpenters’s biggest track also covered by Hikki as well.  Rie fu’s version is more closer to the original and Rie fu sounds OMG good and her pretty voice really fit with the songs meaning.  She has no problems with English at all, which is a little shocking to me since I just got into her.  It’s definitly the best off the single.

 

 

Rie fu’s first single of the era was a little underwhelming.  I mean when a cover is the best track off the single, then there’s something wrong.  HOME and Wait For Me were alright, but ultimately forgettable, especially with the next single’s release.