Kurayami Monogatari

Would love a comment every so often <<

Sayuri Sugawara – Open The Gate November 19, 2012

Filed under: Sayuri Sugawara — solarblade @ 9:32 pm

Track Listing

  1. Star Drop
  2. Tada
  3. Itsu no Hi mo
  4. Habataku Kimi e
  5. ROCKSTAR
  6. Beyond The Sky
  7. LETTER
  8. Koi no Mahou
  9. Love Again
  10. Forever…
  11. Kanade
  12. Basket Court
  13. SONOMAMA
  14. Sunao ni Narenakute (Piano Ver.) (bonus track)

1. Star Drop

I love that Sayuri opened the album with Star Drop which was the album’s promo song and this track is so good.  It does have a certain style about it that seemed to work with it quite a lot.  Some of the arrangement (especially the bridge) reminds me of Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” but then again it’s only really a short part.  The song is cool and I love the beat of it all.  It’s definitely a great way to open the album up!

2. Tada

Tada pushes Sayuri in the vocal department a lot more and I’m finding myself enjoying it and the fact that it’s a lot more upbeat also seems to work in its favor.  It sounds like it’d be something from “Forever…” but that’s a pretty good thing since I’m enjoying this song, not as much as I did with “Star Drop” but very passable!

3. Itsu no Hi mo

Third track in and we get our first ballad with Itsu no Hi mo.  There’s something so very ayaka-ish about this song which is a great thing becuse I’m really impressed by Sayuri’s performance alongside this somewhat haunting ballad.  Another great track! ^_^

4. Habataku Kimi e

As the second A-side released for the era, Habataku Kimi e is still a prety good song overall and fits on the album quite seamlessly!  After “Itsu no Hi mo”, this coming after is quite a smart choice since it still is a ballad, just with beats.  I have to say I love that she chose this over “Ashita ni Naru Mae ni” tbqh.

5. ROCKSTAR

Which also brings up the question of why “Ashita ni Naru Mae ni” was missing on the album when both B-sides from said single made the cut.  I wonder it myself…but hey we have to talk about ROCKSTAR which is probably my favorite B-side of hers.  I love when Sayuri steps out of her comfort zone and gives us something completely not her style and ROCKSTAR feels like a sequal from one of her older songs, “Fly”.  It’s a fun song and I’m sure it’ll be a favorite live!

6. Beyond The Sky

After that little burst of energy, we come back down to earth with Beyond The Sky which to me is a little mundane to me since the previous five tracks have managed to rather pop out while this song just kind of feels like it’s more of a filler track.  I do like some of the arrangement, but otherwise…not the best here.

7. LETTER

Moving on, LETTER continues to slow things down, but I felt like I really enjoyed this song a lot more than “Beyond The Sky” since it feels a little nostalgic and the crying violin is very pretty as well as Sayuri herself.  It does seem to border being a Country song but I’m just fine with this since it’s not so hokey and gross.  Definitely one of the nicer and relaxing tracks on the album. 

8. Koi no Mahou

Then we reach one of the slowest songs on the album with Koi no Mahou.  It kinds of sounds like “Habataku Kimi e” especially once the beats join in the song.  Actually it kind of reminds me of a JUJU/Kana Nishino R&B ballad…it’s strange but I found it somewhat relaxing as well.  Not bad of a song though.

9. Love Again

Bringing back the experimentive side, Love Again has a lot of synths going on and it’s also styled as a R&B track which is a cool mix and I actually really liked this song since it sounds so different and closest to a dance track she’d get to.  Though Sayuri reminds me of Namie in some light here which is different but I liked it A LOT!  Another favorite of mine from the album.

10. Forever…

As the leading song from her 2nd mini of the same name (meaning “Close To You” was left off), Forever… is a really strong track and I’m glad she chose this over most of the other songs.  When I listen to it today, it does have a certain holiday feel to it…it could be from that bouncy nature.  I think it’s one of her better songs in her discography and I love the subtle romantic feel about the tune as well.  Good song, good song!

11. Kanade

As this was the digital single of the album, Kanade is another simple ballad from Sayuri which starts off with just piano as the backup instrument.  With the amount of R&B ballads on here, I wasn’t really into Kanade unfortunately.  It just seemed to be like “Beyond The Sky” where it does sound nice, but it really feels like another filler track from my viewpoint. 

12. Basket Court

The other B-side from “Ashita ni Naru Mae ni”, Basket Court never really intrigued unlike “ROCKSTAR” which instantly caught my attention.  I do like it’s a bit more loud and has a nice pop/rock groove to it.  Meaning that it stands out on the album more than it did on its single and I like that about the song…it’s slowly growing on me ^^

13. SONOMAMA

As the album comes to an end, SONOMAMA ends things on a good note and appropriate enough of a track to end things off since it has that feeling going.  It’s got a cool, heavy beat and Sayuri sounds great but oddly enough it doesn’t leave a mark as much as other songs on here.

14. Sunao ni Narenakute (Piano Ver.)

As a little bonus incentive, we get a new version of Sunao ni Narenakute (her 3rd A-side).  Like the title implies it really is just the song but with piano AND Sayuri actually resung the song which is even better.  Simple but it’s a very nice bonus to hear…a good clean ballad!

Tracks Recommended

  • ROCKSTAR
  • Love Again
  • Star Drop
  • LETTER
  • Itsu no Hi mo

Song of Avoidance

  • Beyond The Sky

I will say that Open The Gate is a giant step forward from her debut album, “First Story”,  She just pulled the right strings for this album and all but two tracks left a really good mark on me.  I have to say she really has become stronger and more impressive as time goes on.  This is definitely *RECOMMENDED*

Advertisements
 

Sayuri Sugawara – Habataku Kimi e March 29, 2012

Filed under: Sayuri Sugawara — solarblade @ 6:33 pm

Track Listing

  1. Habataku Kimi e
  2. Sakura
  3. My HERO (CD only)
  4. Habataku Kimi e (Instrumental)
  5. Sakura (Instrumental)
  6. My HERO (Instrumental)

1. Habataku Kimi e

Beautiful piano open up Sayuri’s second A-side of the era, Habataku Kimi e which is more of the same we’ve gotten from Sayuri since she debuted two years ago.  Meaning more of that R&B style is found here and I’m thinking it’s her niche but it works with me because her voice is really pretty for some reason.  It just sounds great and she gets stronger towards the chorus for sure ^^.  Impressive song and better than couple of her last leading tracks (from the mini-albums) and A-sides.

2. Sakura

Of course since it’s that time of year, it’s no surprise we’d get our Sakura-themed song from Sayuri.  Unlike “Habataku Kimi e”, Sakura is more ballad-friendly for people with strings and piano leading it up lol.  For how simplistic it is in its arrangement, it’s a pretty song and Sayuri sung it very well (even throwing some English in the chorus).  I honestly wouldn’t have minded if she had chose this as an A-side because it’s pretty good! lol.

3. My HERO

Oh a CD only song?  Well My HERO began with Sayuri opening it up in an acappella style before acoustic guitars join in after the intro.  Her voice are a bit more at a comfortable level since she was singing high notes in “Sakura” and all that.  I do chuckle at the ~my heelow~ in the chorus and various other places but not bad but nothing too remarkable here.

 

 

As the second single of the era, Habataku Kimi e actually impressed me a bit more than “Ashita ni Naru Mae ni” since two of the three songs are pretty damn good for here…she keeps on impressing me with songs like the lead track and Sakura.  My HERO is alright…but is obvious it’s a little under the other two songs.

 

Sayuri Sugawara – Ashita ni Naru Mae ni December 15, 2011

Filed under: Sayuri Sugawara — solarblade @ 2:38 am

Track Listing

  1. Ashita ni Naru Mae ni
  2. Basket Court
  3. ROCKSTAR

1. Ashita ni Naru Mae ni

Wow, I didn’t think Sayuri was going to hit a different kind of low for Ashita ni Naru Mae ni.  I just seems to be you run-of-the-mill kind of R&B tune which is already boring me just a bit.  I will say that we haven’t had an A-side that was upbeat like this one which is nice and it does fitting for the season.  Then again it sounds like shopping mall music for some reason to me.  It’s nice and one of Sayuri’s better songs but the style still isn’t pulling me in very well.  I’m sure it’ll grow on me in due time though.

2. Basket Court

I wonder what she’s meaning by the title…Basketball?  I’m guessing not though.  Basket Court takes out the R&B and replaces it with more of a pop/rock kind of style which she does pretty good at actually but I’m not feeling much here.  It’s just kind of there and a bit much like her previous efforts.

3. ROCKSTAR

At first I was kind of wondering of the audience clapping and being excited but that was really shortlived.  I thought this was going to be a bit more rockin’ but it’s a bit more like “Fly” in the way that it also has a lot of electro/rock.  Sayuri’s vocals are a bit more edgy as well which is the voice I like from her the most and it works in this tune.  It’s definitely the best off the single!

 

 

I wonder when we’ll get our actual 2nd studio album from Sayuri…I mean the mini-albums were nice to give time, but three minis and this single is just stretching it for what it’s worth.  I will say that ROCKSTAR was the best off the single for just being actually good.  Ashita ni Naru Mae ni was alright and can grow to be quite good but Basket Court is just blahfest…I WANT AN ALBUM SAYURI!!!! xD

 

Sayuri Sugawara – Forever… July 20, 2011

Filed under: Sayuri Sugawara — solarblade @ 5:40 pm

Track Listing

  1. Forever…
  2. Kaze
  3. Fly
  4. tears
  5. My Sweet Home
  6. Futari no Kage
  7. Thinking Of You (CD only bonus track)
  8. “Suki” to Iu Kotoba -Album Version 2011- (CD only bonus track)

1. Forever…

Ahhh, Sayuri starts the mini-album off with something that would be expected from her with a mid-tempo R&B tune with Forever….I do kind of like it but it’s really for the fact that the chorus has punch to it by adding electric guitars and louder percussion and the whole ~never ever~ thing that’s going on.  It’s a sweet song and I must say it’s a good start so far.

2. Kaze

Things take a small turn going into Kaze which moves away from Sayuri’s original style to a more pop/rock style which I don’t mind at all since her vocals are light and very sweet to listen to.  It might be a slow track and moves at the same pace, but I really like the depressing vibes and Sayuri was singing quite nicely.

3. Fly

I never thought she’d pull it off, but our next song can be described as an electro-rock track.  I’m actually seriously enjoying this song not because of my uber enjoyment of the genre, but this song is quite good and Sayuri sounds great in the song (though I do think the filters are meh) but this song is probably one of the best tracks off the mini-album.

4. tears

After such an exciting song, I was surprised that Sayuri would take it light again, but tears is a good song as well.  It doesn’t sound like your typical R&B track since there’s so many things that sound really good together in the arrangement and the chorus and the parts without Sayuri singing makes it sound like an older Hitomi Shimatani song.  Good song!

5. My Sweet Home

Can’t believe our next song really makes me think of ayaka for some reason.  My Sweet Home also does sound like another “Kaze” but more of a ballad than said song.  I like the acoustic and electric guitars together and it makes the song a bit more emotional.  Sadly, otherwise I don’t remember this song and it fits more with the last few singles she’s done.

6. Futari no Kage

Closing the CD+DVD out, Futari no Kage is another ballad track from Sayuri but it’s pretty to listen to.  Sayuri sounds very pretty in the song and while things are more of a slow burner-kind of style, but it does sound good after more instruments enter the song.  It’s nice and it make a nice closing to one of the versions of the mini XD

7. Thinking Of You

Oddly enough the CD only version includes two more tracks.  Thinking Of You does surprise me quite a bit since the song is upbeat and has a dance beat going on which is a nice move.  It doesn’t have an edge like “Fly” does, but it’s steady, light, and full of life so I must say it was a great song and wonder why it was only on one version of this release.

8. “Suki” to Iu Kotoba -Album Version 2011-

It seriously hasn’t been a year and we’re already getting a new version of Sayuri’s last A-side.  The changes that were made for the song are pretty noticeable when the tune has more of an acoustic feel to it and it’s softer than the original as well.  It also took out the R&B style as well and replaced those with piano and strings.  It’s a nice take, but I still much prefer the original oddly enough.

 

 

Third mini-album…really?  I must say that I liked Forever… a whole lot more than her last one, “Close To You”.  I do think the mini was split between, ballads, R&B, dance tracks, and pop/rock tracks so it was a good even distribution of areas to Sayuri’s style.  Strong and definitely more memorable…good good release!

 

Sayuri Sugawara – Close To You December 22, 2010

Filed under: Sayuri Sugawara — solarblade @ 10:24 am

Track Listing

  1. Sayonara Mata….
  2. So Long My Love
  3. Close To You
  4. “Suki” to Iu Kotoba
  5. Sunao ni Narenakute
  6. WINTER STORY

1. Sayonara Mata….

Beginning Sayuri’s mini-album, Sayonara Mata…. starts on a good note since it’s of course a slower song from her.  I love the songs quite lovely ballad-like atmosphere and is it just me or am I noticing her vocals have stepped up?  Her voice just radiates through the song and despite not really changing since “First Story”, the arrangement is quite sweet and the strings/piano/acoustic guitar sound good.  It’s a pretty pleasant tune!

2. So Long My Love

After the first thing I was wondering if the album was going to more or less any different, but So Long My Love dashed my theory out the window.  I mean it’s more along the lines of what she sounded like when she debuted with R&B, but this has a pretty strong amount of synths used throughout.  I also found myself liking the song quite a bit as well and I loved that it give Sayuri a bit more room for her vocals as well. 

3. Close To You

I guess she had to mix the two songs to get this one next.  Being the title track for the mini-album, Close To You is like I said a mix of both R&B and a ballad and while I’m not fond of these songs, this one feels like a throwback to 90’s R&B with an Americanized twist to it.  Beyond that, I’m still not too fond of it and it just kind of passes by me.

4. “Suki” to Iu Kotoba

I’m not sure why she had to actually put the 2 A-sides she released so far onto the mini-album but nonetheless there they are.  Being the most recent A-side, “Suki” to Iu Kotoba follows pretty closely behind “Close To You” even though it was released before it, this song is still one of Sayuri’s best A-sides released so far.  Even though I did just come out of a boring tune, this one lightened me up and gave me reason to love it even more. 

5. Sunao ni Narenakute

Of course, the first single released in the era is also found on the mini-album and I still don’t think much of it besides the fact her vocals sound nice, but it’s just like any other R&B song out there so for me it’s pretty bland as songs go.  I’m just going to slip by this song.

6. WINTER STORY

I’m happy that Sayuri decided to close the mini-album with a new song.  WINTER STORY might not be anything much for me, but it does stand out here as the atypical Winter ballad and it doesn’t cover itself in it like crazy.  There’s still not enough to make it memorable, but whatever it’s there lol.

Sayuri’s mini-album is half-half for me.  I mean the three songs that I really enjoyed stood out quite a bit and I fell in love with them quite strongly.  However the other half were just terribly plain from her and just didn’t do anything for me.  Iono, but if there’s an album in the era…I wonder what’ll be on it at this point…

 

Sayuri Sugawara – “Suki” to Iu Kotoba August 31, 2010

Filed under: Sayuri Sugawara — solarblade @ 6:35 pm

Track Listing

  1. “Suki” to Iu Kotoba
  2. I Wanna Cry…
  3. “Suki” to Iu Kotoba (Instrumental)
  4. I Wanna Cry… (Instrumental)

1. “Suki” to Iu Kotoba

It seems that Sayuri wanted to go back to what she did pre-“Kimi ga Iru Kara” with the whole light R&B style.  I mean it’s not Kana Nishino, but it’s actually relaxing to listen to and Sayuri’s vocals are getting better to listen to as well which is great.  I thought the background vocals were an odd but nice touch.  It’s definitely a ballad I could keep listening to for a long time and that’s good.

2. I Wanna Cry…

For a song that should come off as a ballad, I was surprised it was an upbeat tune here.  I like her voice still since she has the right emotion going on for it and a lot of English as well.  I really do enjoy the pop/rock style going on and it makes a worthy B-side for this single!

 

 

I was impressed a lot by Sayuri for her second single of the era.  There is just something that clicked that didn’t happen with “Sunao ni Narenakute”.  This single was what I needed to like her again and it worked.  I like how sweet that A-side.  Even beter was how nice the B-side came off.  One of the better singles this year!

 

Sayuri Sugawara – Sunao ni Narenakute May 19, 2010

Filed under: Sayuri Sugawara — solarblade @ 11:46 pm

Track Listing

  1. Sunao ni Narenakute
  2. Stay with you
  3. GLOW
  4. Sunao ni Narenakute (Instrumental)
  5. Stay with you (Instrumental)
  6. GLOW (Instrumental)

1. Sunao ni Narenakute

Alright, I agree with the masses that say this song sounds a bit like “Ano Hi no Yakusoku” since it does have that R&B sound that both songs do have.  It’s not too bad and it’s so much stronger than her last A-side which is a plus of course.  I think I might end up liking this song a lot more than I would.  Sayuri’s vocals aren’t strong but they sound great otherwise.

2. Stay with you

Which can be said the almost exact same about the first B-side.  It’s more or less a refined version of “Sunao ni Narenakute” since it share a lot things but I think Sayuri’s performance is a lot more enticing and a lot more catchier.  Besides that, I think the same can be said about this song like I said about the previous track.

3. GLOW

The 2nd B-side also once again entitled to the genre, but there’s a guitar opening with a lot more beats, guitar, and strings involved.  The good thing about this track though is that it doesn’t sound like the previous two and sounds a lot more original and snazzy as well.  I definitely enjoyed this song the most outta the single.

 

 

After a pretty good start with “First Story”, Sunao ni Narenakute launches the era off on a strong note.  All three songs do show that Sayuri is probably going to be an R&B artist, but I don’t mind it because she can pull it off and make it stand out with songs like GLOW.  Hopefully her arrangements to become more interesting though.