Kurayami Monogatari

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Sayuri Sugawara – First Story January 27, 2010

Filed under: Sayuri Sugawara — solarblade @ 2:58 pm

Track Listing

  1. Arigatou feat. FEROS
  2. Kimi ni Okuru Uta
  3. Is This Love?
  4. Kimi ga Iru Kara
  5. It’s My Life
  6. Ano Hi no Yakusoku
  7. alone…
  8. Thrill
  9. Eternal Love
  10. Sakura no Michi
  11. Koi
  12. Superstar☆
  13. Destiny feat. FEROS <Haru ver.>
  14. ALWAYS

1. Arigatou feat. FEROS

Beginning the album off is the B-side from “Ano Hi no Yakusoku” but now featuring FEROS.  Even though I like Arigatou from the single, the album cut isn’t good because of the new addition.  Besides that, it’s still the same song with it’s upbeat pop nature and she sounds good still. 

2. Kimi ni Okuru Uta

We go back far to her debut song and definitely reminds me of Kana Nishino’s R&B flavored music but with better vocals and stronger beats and pretty good vocals.  I really like the piano line that comes with the music and Sayuri sounds really nice here.  I think that the song came off as unoriginal at first, but it turns out to be one her best tracks.

3. Is This Love?

For our first new track off the album, I was surprised at what Sayuri actually did for this track because it’s so different from what we’re used to since it’s got a synth drive and sounds electropop, but at the same time not because there’s no vocal manipulations.  Sometimes the song doesn’t sound exciting enough, but it’s got such a catchy beat and Sayuri sounds overall nice.

4. Kimi ga Iru Kara

Unfortunately, we have to listen to the song that least impressed me in the era.  Is it really shocking that the FFXIII theme is actually a borefest and is in that same category with “Melodies of Life” and “Why”?  I mean it just sounds like every other drama/ballad song that I’ve heard.  I guess Final Fantasy finally hit that rut of icky songs.

5. It’s My Life

As we get back into another new track, It’s My Life is definitely back to a more upbeat and fun arrangement and I like the guitar in this song.  I don’t know why, but the song reminds me of something, but I can’s place it right now.  Interesting little tune.

6. Ano Hi no Yakusoku

Sayuri’s 2nd A-side comes in quite nicely and is far enough from “Kimi ni Okuru Uta” to sound really bland.  It’s not a full ballad, but it’s neither a full R&B track, either way I kind of liked the song’s flow and Sayuri’s sweet vocals worked quite nicely for her.

7. alone…

That’s kind of why I didn’t like alone… as much because it sounds way too similar to “Ano Hi no Yakusoku”.  It’s even in the same range as the other song this is even worse off on the album because of all that boooooo.  Sorry, this was just tasteless and is overly bland for me.

8. Thrill

We get into a jazzy tune for Thrill and honestly, it s a thrill to listen to because she can pull of jazz very nicely.  It’s also nice to note that she’s using a more deeper set of vocals which added more to the thrill of the song.  Very surprising, but amazing nonetheless.

9. Eternal Love

The other song used for FFXIII, Eternal Love is way better than “Kimi ga Iru Kara” because it doesn’t sound like your standard ballad which is great since it’s these song that work out better than boring ballads.  It’s got a magical quality about it that I like about it and Sayuri isn’t trying to be OMG EMOTIONAL.  I like this song a lot.

10. Sakura no Michi

I instantly got deja vu when I turned this song on.  It reminds me of our next track, “Koi” because it’s a little more westernized than most of the other songs off the album and there’s acoustic guitar present again as well.  At least there’s strings to at least alleviate the two songs from each, not bad, but not memorable.

11. Koi

Coming from the “Kimi ni Okuru Uta” mini-album, Koi like I said previous is an acoustic pop track which reminds me more of “It’s My Life” than the previous song.  I kind of dislike it a little more here than on it’s original placing so that’s not good.  I think it’s something about Sayuri not sounding as interested or into the music as before.

12. Superstar☆

I guess for being bored through the middle of the album, it’s somewhat nice to have something more upbeat and catchy in not just the music but in the lyrics.  I kind of like the twinkly synth sound going on in the background, nifty.  Might be a little slow, but it’s hellishly catchy.

13. Destiny feat. FEROS <Haru ver.>

Ick, do I really need to deal with FEROS for another track?  I guess so, but this is an oldie.  Destiny (back on “Kimi ni Okuru Uta”) is still on my shit list because of FEROS again, his rapping and Sayuri’s singing just do not match at all and process the wrong feelings across.  Not exactly what you would call a good collaboration.  Oh, I guess there were a few changes within the lyrics to make it more spring-like, but to me that just doesn’t do enough for me. 

14. ALWAYS

Ending off the album, ALWAYS is actually kind of cute for a song, even though it’s one of the R&B songs that would be like all over the place and be high on ORICON.  What’s good is that Sayuri sounds really nice once again and just made me smile.  Kind of typical but in a good way and it’s nice to end the album off with something like this.

Tracks Recommended

  • Is This Love?
  • Kimi ni Okuru Uta
  • Thrill
  • Eternal Love
  • Superstar☆

Song of Avoidance

  • alone…

Sayuri’s debut album has the right tools to be great, but sometimes it feels like she’s following whatever is popular now hence all those R&B tracks.  Though the thing that most people was waiting for to make her popular flopped, it didn’t really stop the album from being somewhat good and enjoyable. 

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Sayuri Sugawara – Kimi ga Iru Kara December 2, 2009

Filed under: Sayuri Sugawara — solarblade @ 8:55 pm

Track Listing

  1. Kimi ga Iru Kara
  2. Eternal Love
  3. Christmas Again
  4. Kimi ga Iru Kara (Instrumental)
  5. Eternal Love (Instrumental)
  6. Christmas Again (Instrumental)

1. Kimi ga Iru Kara

Since it is the the song used for Final Fantasy XIII, I wasn’t really expecting nothing different from all of the main ones from VIII, to the current game.  Each of the series in betweem has had ballads as the tie-ins and Sayuri’s isn’t really breaking new ground or anything, and it isn’t as spectacular like “Eyes On Me”, “Suteki da ne” or even Kiss Me Good-Bye”, but it’s alright.  Better than that Leona Lewis song that’s featured in the American release.  Sayuri’s voice sounds pretty and a few people compared it to ayaka and I can see it completely, but ayaka already had her time in the FF lore xD.  It’s good, but not the best.

2. Eternal Love

Also used in FFXIII, Eternal Love sounds more like something I’d want the game to have.  It’s relaxing, a little more upbeat and sounds like the usual Sayuri since it mixes a bit of R&B into it.  Sayuri’s vocals are a bit stronger and the song prolly doesn’t fit in the game, but it’s a lot nicer than “Kimi ga Iru Kara”.

3. Christmas Again

Where have I heard this guitar melody before?  It’s so similar to some song.  It’s different from the other tracks because of the inclusion of acoustic guitar and it’s not that bad of a song since Sayuri’s voice once again sounds good.  While it is a Christmas song, it really doesn’t live up to other bigger songs…so it just comes off as mild.

 

 

So Sayuri’s 2nd single is rather mundane since it’s kind of becoming redundent against her previous releases.  Though, with the FFXIII tie-in this will either make or break her, though there’s no reason that she shouldn’t get at least in the top 10 on Oricon.  Thank god there’s an album after this so this is also the final single of the era.

 

Sayuri Sugawara – Ano Hi no Yakusoku October 2, 2009

Filed under: Sayuri Sugawara — solarblade @ 9:42 pm

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Track Listing

  1. Ano Hi no Yakusoku
  2. Arigatou
  3. Ano Hi no Yakusoku (Instrumental)
  4. Arigatou (Instrumental)
  5. Kimi ni Okuru Uta (Instrumental)

1. Ano Hi no Yakusoku

For Sayuri’s first single, Ano Hi no Yakusoku is not surprisingly a balladish track from her.  It kind of has that same feel “Kimi ni Okuru Uta” because it’s like nice flowing and mixed with R&B beats.  As for Sayuri, she sounds good again, and at some points she reminds me of Crystal Kay which is cool enough for me I guess.  This might be a little too similar to her last release, but it’s nice overall.

2. Arigatou

However, I was happy with the B-side.  Arigatou is a happier sounding tune.  It’s a bit more towards her R&B style and I kind of liked how catchy the arrangement was and Sayuri did a great job keeping up with it’s bubblyness.  Which by the way, there are bubbles popping in the background too, which made me giggle.  I think it’s a great B-side and better than “Ano Hi no Yakusoku”.

 

 

If she keeps this up, I think her next single “Kimi ga Iru Kara” (Final Fantasy XIII’s theme) will probably be a big hitter for her.  Ano Hi no Yakusoku is more or less a continuation from her debut which is nice and all, but hope she doesn’t get bland with it.  Arigatou though was cute for her and it made up for the sort-of meh A-side.  Good single from her.

 

Sayuri Sugawara – Kimi ni Okuru Uta September 30, 2009

Filed under: Sayuri Sugawara — solarblade @ 4:58 am

kiminiokuruuta

Track Listing

  1. Kimi ni Okuru Uta
  2. Destiny feat. FEROS
  3. Koi
  4. Tsuyoku Naritai
  5. I still love you

1. Kimi ni Okuru Uta

Ahhh, Sayuri begins this mini-album with a mid-tempo tune.  First thing I notice about Sayuri is that her vocals are quite relaxed when compared to other artists that do similar tracks.  It’s also delving in a little of R&B and that’s quite nice.  I do think her English is a little off, but it’s easily understandable and she doesnt make those parts stand out.  It’s a nice track altogether and she sung sweetly as well.

2. Destiny feat. FEROS

Released previously as a digital track, Destiny is surprisingly a ballad starting with a beautiful violin opening.  Then things kind of go back into that R&B sound that made up the first track.  After Sayuri’s little dit, FEROS raps along with this and it’s rather tasteless and doesn’t set up Sayuri for after his rapping.  She doesn’t sound right here and beyond the arrangement, this song is skippable.

3. Koi

Koi is a whole lot different than the previous tracks because of the overly Western sound Koi’s got.  Sayuri also sounds a bit more deeper and with the acoustic track behind her, she actually made this a whole lot better.  Still with the happy feeling songs, I thought this was done a whole lot better. 

4. Tsuyoku Naritai

A song that’s like “Koi” again?  I’d say this was more of a contination more than anything.  It does sound like an ayaka song, but I can’t think of which one at the moment.  That being said, it’s rather a nice tune, but placing it after a rather similar song does hinder it.  Tsuyoku Naritai’s acoustic, lively arrangement is possibly a good sound for Sayuri but I don’t want her to possess this side all the time.

5. I still love you

The final track off the mini-album, is finally a pure ballad from Sayuri.  Led by piano and a low thumping beat, I have to say she really scored points with me on this tune.  Her voice is nice and sounds beautiful especially at the end of the chorus where the song sounds like it went sad for a little bit.  Though, it’s weird that she’s saying ~I shtill love u~….though I think she’s playing on words by mixing it with ~aishiteru~ which is basically the same thing.  Clever perhaps?

 

 

I have to say, I can see how Square-Enix chose her to be the gal to sing the insert song for FFXIII.  Her voice is clean and very pretty given the right arrangement.  I do have to say that Destiny was probably the worst song off the mini-album, but I think it was first song issues.  Overall, it’s a nice presentation for Sayuri and I can’t wait to hear her next single.