Kurayami Monogatari

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Sakura Gakuin – WONDERFUL JOURNEY September 12, 2012

Filed under: Sakura Gakuin — solarblade @ 3:40 am

Track Listing

  1. WONDERFUL JOURNEY
  2. Marshmallow Iro no Kimi to (Regular only)
  3. Song for smiling (Limited only)
  4. WONDERFUL JOURNEY (Instrumental)
  5. Marshmallow Iro no Kimi to (Instrumental)
  6. Song for smiling (Instrumental)

1. WONDERFUL JOURNEY

As the leading track, I was curious to where SakuGaku were actually going after “Tabidachi no Hi ni” and this song kind of sounds a lot like their debut single.  I’m not sure what they were doing with the song overall since it kind of just came off as bland for me.  It might grow on me, but this A-side is forgetful.

3. Song for singing

I think with this B-side (found on both limited editions), Song for singing is a bit more eventful and fun to listen to and probably would’ve been the better choice for A-side.  In a way it still kind of doesn’t bring anything to the table as Sakura Gakuin and it does sound like one of the sub-groups.  Better but still kind of underwhelming.

 

 

*Will review the other B-side once that comes out*…Sakura Gakuin begins their 3rd era with a pretty weakass single in WONDERFUL JOURNEY.  After “Verishuvi” and “Tabidachi no Hi ni”, I kind of expected the group to be a little more dynamic and original but they fell backwards to their first single.  Both songs just ooze of idol unoriginality and I just didn’t enjoy it…I hope the B-side I missed  is somewhat good!

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Sakura Gakuin – Sakura Gakuin 2011 Nendo ~FRIENDS~ April 8, 2012

Filed under: Sakura Gakuin — solarblade @ 2:52 am

Track Listing

  1. Verishuvi
  2. FRIENDS
  3. Please! Please! Please! / Baton Club Twinklestars
  4. Rapicamu / Baton Club Twinklestars
  5. Hashire Shoujiki Mono / Go Home Club sleepiece
  6. Yokubari Fille / Cooking Club Mini Party
  7. Ii ne! (Vega Mix Version) / Heavy Metal Club BABYMETAL
  8. Otomegokoro.
  9. Pictogram
  10. 3.a.m
  11. See you…
  12. Tabidachi no Hi ni

1. Verishuvi

Opening the album up, Verishuvi and it’s sea shanty/melody sampling self, introduces us to the album.  I have to say though that I really do enjoy the song for some reason because it’s lively and the girls sound really nice.  It doesn’t let up the entire way through and keeps with this happy-go-lucky atmosphere.  Hard to decide though on which A-side was better since both were great in different ways!

2. FRIENDS

At least we have 4 new group songs on this album (one more than on “message” at least).  The title track of the album comes next and unlike the goofyness of the first song we get a little more into their idol status which is pretty cool.  However, it does seem like your run-of-the-mill kind of idol song which celebrates friendship and all that.  There’s a lot of solos to be found which are awesome so this is nice but plain as well of a song.

3. Please! Please! Please!

Of course since it’s a SakuGaku album, it’s also means that the sub-groups also return (with the exception of the SCOOPERS…which is sad because they were my favorite sub-group next to BABYMETAL).  Twinklestars is one of the cuter ones from the five and they got two songs for this album.  Of course getting into the song, I was expecting cute to just splash into my ears and it’s true because it’s adorable and the piano is cute too plus all that ~chu chu chu chuuuuu~ lines.  I do like the harmonizations as well (despite not knowing who’s in the group) lol.  Does remind me of a Katamari song which is awesome!

4.  Rapicamu

Continuing with the other Twinklestars song, Rapicamu (what???) doesn’t sound as intriguing as “Please! Please! Please!” and the harmonizations aren’t as many either which is a little meh but it’s ok for a song like this.  Not much else to really say about the song really…cute and all that but not as good as their other song.

5. Hashire Shoujiki Mono

Moving onto sleepiece’s song, I never was really interested in them because they also follow along Twinklestars cuter style but worse because I thought “Medaka no Kyoudai” was a terrible song.  At least they slightly redeemed themselves with Hashire Shoujiki Mono which is cute but still slightly annoying after a while but doesn’t make me pull my hair out. 

6. Yokubari Fille

So we have a lot of those cute and genki songs so I’m kind of hoping to move out of that section quickly.  Mini Party gets one song on this album oppose to their two on the last album but Yokubari Fille is interesting because it has 8bit sounds in it (like SEXY-SYNTHESIZER got their hands all over this song).  Definitely true to the style Mini Party is going for, I was enjoying this song because the Galaga sounds really fit with the genki vocals in the tune.  I actually liked this song!

7. Ii ne! (Vega Mix Version)

Yeah BABYMETAL managed to release a single before the album release (actually a joint release with Kiba of Akiba).  After “Doki Doki☆Morning”, I was excited to hear more from BABYMETAL since they have achieved the most out of the sub-groups and they bring an exciting twist to idols and metal.  Ii ne! does get a new mix (but the difference is hard to spot actually…someone tell what’s different?).  I love that it’s a bit more electro but also holds onto their death metal sound in various parts.  However my frown comes in the form of the random rapping section (well it’s not rap but it’s a giant crack in the song either way).  Great song and awesome follow-up to “Doki Doki☆Morning”.

8. Otomegokoro.

Back out to the full group songs, Otomegokoro. kind of follows along with “FRIENDS” in the way that there’s a lot more guitar influence which is pretty sweet to hear.  Plus hearing the girls singing with a lot more gusto is impressive.  Pretty good song and none of the girls sound bad here which is a surprise!

9. Pictogram

I get such weird vibes listening to Pictogram for some reason.  I mean the intro with the synths and the sound of gears clicking or some odd thing is quite nice to listen to.  It’s like a BABYMETAL song without the death metal which is pretty awesome and the chorus is a breezy one which I love.  I didn’t expect to get a synthy-song from the main collection of the girls but it’s really nice!

10. 3.a.m

Oh hey one more sub-group huh?  Oddly enough, 3.a.m is actually the only song where (besides BABYMETAL) we get who’s in the group from the start.  It’s actually for the three members (Ayami, Ayaka, and Airi) who are graduating right after this album (might have already done it actually).  It’s definitely unusual to go out with such a celebratory kind of song like this one.  As they were also the oldest girls of the bunch, they sound really good together and their harmonies is pretty.  Though the unusual thing is that the song has seperate areas which definitely have odd transitioning periods.  Makes sense though that there’s seperate parts to showcase the three ladies seperately which is nice of them to do.  Though one could wonder how could it would’ve been if each section was its own song….hmmm.  Still for a goodbye song it does its job right.

11. See you…

I guess it seems to be that song to be rest of the members saying goodbye to the three mentioned above.  Like “FRIENDS” once again, it has a lot of electric guitar involved and has a certain resemblance to that song as well.  It’s really depressing that I couldn’t remember this song from all the others which is meh. 

12. Tabidachi no Hi ni

Appropriately closing the album, the second A-side (and final) for the era, Tabidachi no Hi ni is quite a different kind of song for the group.  Considering it’s a cover of a school choir’s song and it kind of ties in also with the three ladies that are graduating, I found this to stick out on the album in a kind of good way.  I mean this song is about all the girls melodically coming together and it sounds heartfelt.  This was a very nice way to close the album.

Tracks Recommended

  • Ii ne! (Vega Mix Version)
  • Yokubari Fille
  • Please! Please! Please!
  • Tabidachi no Hi ni
  • Pictogram

Song of Avoidance

  • See you…

SakuGaku’s sophomore album actually built upon their last one making this one a lot more memorable of a release.  I think the fact that there was a little more effort (and the ladies are used to each other now) also accompanied the reasons this was a better sounding album.  Despite three members leaving, I think SakuGaku will be alright since they sound more than capable of releasing things in good quality (like the A-sides and BABYMETAL’s popularity).  I will say the lack of SCOOPERS was sad since I loved them as much as their darker rock sister sub-group.  Great release!

 

Sakura Gakuin – Tabidachi no Hi ni March 31, 2012

Filed under: Sakura Gakuin — solarblade @ 5:18 am

Track Listing

  1. Tabidachi no Hi ni
  2. Tabidachi no Hi ni ~J-MIX~
  3. Planet Episode 008
  4. Tabidachi no Hi ni (Instrumental)
  5. Tabidachi no Hi ni ~J-MIX~ (Instrumental)
  6. Planet Episode 008 (Instrumental)

1. Tabidachi no Hi ni

Strange that SakuGaku would make the second and sort of final single of the era (BABYMETAL released a single but their song is on the album) be a cover song but not in the way you’d expect it to be.  It’s a cover of a school song sung by the Kagemori Junior High School Choir and that’s pretty unique of an idol group to do (especially since it’s the last single for three of the members).  Not a lot in the arrangement area and there’s no solos to be found either.  Think of this as SakuGaku’s version of “Sakura no Shiori” where the vocals are melodically together.  Simple but effective and I remember this a little better than “Verishuvi” even though the latter is more exciting.

2. Tabidachi no Hi ni ~J-MIX~

So we get a remix of Tabidachi no Hi ni now?  To be honest, is there anything remotely different between the two songs?  Well after the first verse/chorus section the song gains a solid beat so that’s where the difference begins.  Then the girls also seem to have solo lines here as well which is good…but still not enough to really say it’s better than the original. 

3. Planet Episode 008

I’m happy that the B-side of the single is not as long as the previous B-side, “Sakura Hyakuninisshu”.  If you’ve missed SakuGaku’s straight-forward idol-pop style, you get it back with this since it’s a little more basic with solos and the overall style throughout.  I liked it for some reason since it was vocally nice and the synth parts impressed me too.  It might be a little odd because it has different areas like a certain part has more guitars like a BABYMETAL song.  It’s different and I enjoyed it.

 

 

As the group’s 2nd single and final for the “Sakura Gakuin 2011 Nendo ~FRIENDS~” era…Tabidachi no Hi ni was something I wasn’t expecting from the group this early on in their career.  Very pretty and the whole choir shtick was nice for them and is a good sendoff to the three members that are graduating.  The remix is ok but nothing special while Planet Episode 008 was interesting (messy) but totally impressed me…now let’s see how the album will turn out!

 

Sakura Gakuin – Verishuvi February 19, 2012

Filed under: Sakura Gakuin — solarblade @ 3:48 am

Track Listing

  1. Verishuvi
  2. Sakura Hyakuninisshu
  3. Verishuvi (inst)
  4. Sakura Hyakuninisshu (inst)

1. Verishuvi

Sakura Gakuin’s 2nd single weirded me out at first because it begins with a school bell ringing and then the melody of “Do Your Ears Hang Low” starts and it’s like wait…what?!?  After that odd intro, the song moves forward and gets energetic with the members singing.  Though the melody of the song keeps come in splotches in the verses which is cool but at the same time makes the song a bit weird.  The track doesn’t let off the energy at all during the entire time so it’s consistent.  It’s nice and kind of a bit more memorable than their debut.

2. Sakura Hyakuninisshu

Good god Sakura Gakuin, why did you make the B-side near 8 minutes long (and yes this is the ENTIRE song so no secret things here!).  The thing that caught me was that unlike “Verishuvi”, Sakura Hyakuninisshu is that it’s more relaxed but it has rapping included!  I wonder if all the members have a solo part that is essentially the rapping but it’s way too long for me and I kind of lose interest midway in the song since it’s the rapping and the all the girls singing together…then some instrumental with flutes…it’s kind of odd but I’m sure some SakuGaku fans will like this.

 

 

As the first single of their second era, Verishuvi is an upgrade after their debut single that’s for sure and I remember the A-side a lot more than either of the A-sides from before!  Though I will question if Sakura Hyakuninisshu was necessary because it was so light yet so VERY LONG of a song…that was kind of torture for me lol.  Still, not bad for the group!

 

Sakura Gakuin – Sakura Gakuin 2010 Nendo ~message~ June 22, 2011

Filed under: Sakura Gakuin — solarblade @ 5:41 pm

Track Listing

  1. FLY AWAY
  2. Hello! IVY
  3. Chime
  4. Happy Birthday / Cooking Club Mini Party
  5. Princess☆a la mode / Cooking Club Mini Party (Regular edition only)
  6. Brand New Day / Newspaper Club SCOOPERS
  7. Dear Mr. Socrates / Baton Club Twinklestars
  8. Medaka no Kyoudai / Go Home Club sleepiece
  9. Doki Doki☆Morning / Heavy Music Club BABYMETAL
  10. Yume ni Mukatte
  11. message

1. FLY AWAY

Opening the album up is one of the few new full group songs, FLY AWAY.  I don’t exactly get the intro, but the guitar that gets into the song after a bit is great.  I like the fact the girls sound actually quite good together and the energy is there as well.  I wonder why there was no tie-in for the song.  It’s upbeat and full of life…I enjoyed this ^_^

2. Hello! IVY

It’s been quite a while since I’ve listened to this track last.  Hello! IVY adds a bit more oomph and everything is amped up quite a bit, but it depends a lot on the gals to support it and it’s catchy of course, but it feels like two different songs going on.  Of course the ~whoas~ get annoying after a while too.  I’m not a big fan of this track TBH.

3. Chime

Things slightly calm down for our next song and it’s kind of like a more synthed up version of “FLY AWAY”, but I’m not complaining since the song is kind of catchy and the arrangement is bright and full and of course the vocals are together.  Might be a little too orthodox in the idol genre for me, but I guess it’s passable given that it’s a fun track and easy to listen to.

4. Happy Birthday

Then comes the mini-group songs which are split from the main group.  Now I don’t know who’s in what group so if you’re looking for info on that…this isn’t the place XD.  For being a little under 3 minutes, Happy Birthday is definitely fitting for the more genki and cute types since it’s just that with a twinkly arrangement and synths all over.  It’s not overbearing and the arrangement is kind of goofy but cute and I somewhat ended up liking it.

5. Princess☆a la mode

Also sung by the mini group before, the regular edition comes with an extra song and this one is just as cute and catchy as the previous one if not slightly more because the lyrics are catchy too.  I think it’s a little slower than “Happy Birthday”, but it’s a good thing and I liked it.

6. Brand New Day

Unlike the cuteness of the previous songs, Brand New Day sounds almost like something SCANDAL would release honestly because it has this lighthearted glow and mixed it with a pop/rock style.  It’s catchy of course and they kept things going on a good note.  It’s probably my favorite from the split groups.

7. Dear Mr. Socrates

I’m not sure what to think of Dear Mr. Socrates.  I like that the song is busy in the arrangement and the girls sounds great (especially in the solos spread throughout).  The music has piano and lightened up on the pop/rock slightly.  I found it somewhat catchy but the percussion can be a bit much in places.  Still nice little tune here.

8. Medaka no Kyoudai

Another energizing synth track?  Then again from being a sub-group, Medaka no Kyoudai is kind of cute, but there’s something that just is a little much and pretty annoying.  Mainly the whole ~choo choo or jun jun~ that’s pretty much headache-inducing.  If it wasn’t for that, this would’ve been an alright song…but damn I don’t like this track at all.

9. Doki Doki☆Morning

Ehhhh?  I’m so lost by this song for sure.  The beginning sounded cute and was going for something techno-y because the vocals were under auto-tune.  However, things get pulled into a 180 and the arrangement turns into a death metal song with synths sprayed throughout.  Of course the chorus is brighter and upbeat.  I’m just staring at the song like 0.o right now.  I’m unsure what to think of this…

10. Yume ni Mukatte

Then we get into the group’s first A-side (well…shared with “Hello! IVY”).  There isn’t solos in this song like the others and I felt that was OK since this song is more for the group’s entire participation.  It’s alright and has a nice anime-like feel to it.  Definitely one of the better songs off the album.

11. message

Closing the album is the promotional song for the album and it’s probably the nearest thing to a ballad we have on the album.  After all the songs before this, this one seems a bit forgettable and a little bland in the end.  I will say that hearing the girls altogether singing and saying the groups name over and over is alright…but yeah forgettable.

Tracks Recommended

  • Brand New Day
  • Princess☆a la mode
  • FLY AWAY
  • Yume ni Mukatte

Song of Avoidance

  • Medaka no Kyoudai

Sakura Gakuin’s debut album is actually surprisingly good for an idol group oddly enough.  I’m not sure why but the fact that the songs were all upbeat and had different arrangements for the most part kept me interested even if the song itself wasn’t that great.  I think the girls sound good together as well so maybe something better is on the horizon…who knows?!?

 

Sakura Gakuin – Yume ni Mukatte/Hello! IVY December 10, 2010

Filed under: Sakura Gakuin — solarblade @ 4:54 am

Track Listing

  1. Yume ni Mukatte
  2. Hello! IVY
  3. School days
  4. Yume ni Mukatte (Instrumental)
  5. Hello! IVY (Instrumental)
  6. School days (Instrumental)

1. Yume ni Mukatte

I wasn’t sure what to expect from our newest idol group on the scene, but since two of the members were once in Karen Girl’s, I was expecting some synthy-rock stuff and Yume ni Mukatte brought that but it’s definitely not like “Over The Future”.  While there’s no solos in sight in the tune, it’s still quite catchy and the guitars, synths, and strings used are quite enticing and it’s like a mix of an idol song and an anime track.

2. Hello! IVY

~Hallo! IVY!!!~ hahaha the opening is lulzy.  The rest of the song is what I kind of feared would happen since it’s one of those idol-rock tracks overloaded in genki-ness.  There’s actually some solos in the song this time around, but they’re like one word and such.  It’s not as memorable as “Yume ni Mukatte”, but I can see many people falling for this tune lol.

3. School days

Rounding the single out, School days is an interesting surprise since it’s one of the more energetic and surprisingly best songs off the single.  I mean the beginning with the girls singing under only a piano giving it a ballad-like feel and I was surprised at the girls singing multiple lines.  Then the guitar comes in and the song becomes upbeat and synthy and I was bouncing my head to the rhythm and while the girls aren’t great singers, they held their own in the song and I liked that!  Great B-side.

I think most of the idol groups that debuted this year has released great debut singles and it continues with Sakura Gakuin.  Yume ni Mukatte/Hello! IVY is actually quite good of a single and so upbeat and full of life.  I do think the age-list of the girls are Momosu-ish, this group has time to grow and hope it keeps up like this.  Yume ni Mukatte and School days though ❤ ❤ <3.