Kurayami Monogatari

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SCANDAL – Haruka April 21, 2011

Filed under: SCANDAL — solarblade @ 4:10 am

Track Listing

  1. Haruka
  2. Satisfaction
  3. Want you
  4. Haruka (Instrumental)

1. Haruka

Is it strange that I actually ended up loving Haruka for actually trying to stand out from the rest of the A-side released so far?  I’m quite impressed that HARUNA sang well for the track since it was kind of more mid-tempo than they usually pull off.  Add the interesting arrangement and we got a solid A-side from the band.  I’ll say that TOMOMI is trying harder to pull off better vocals and it shows too…!

2. Satisfaction

Time for some more B-sides!  Satisfaction would be considered the cute one on the single…(lulzy that there’s a song already titled “CUTE!”).  I will say that I hear all four members contribute to the vocals in the song and that’s great to hear and MAMI and TOMOMI stood out for me in the song a whole lot than HARUNA and RINA did which might be a nice change from the HARUNA-led tracks.  Catchy, but not as great as their last happy-go-lucky song.

3. Want you

At first the guitar riff kind of made me wanna think we were getting death metal SCANDAL, but sadly that thought is shot down once RINA comes in with the beat.  I found that HARUNA sounds great and strong like crazy, but poor TOMOMI kind of just doesn’t fit with the more gritty kind of rock they’re pulling off…it’s sounds unnatural to be honest.  Still it’s catchy and the guitar solo was cool. 

I’m unsure whether or not to say if Haruka was better than “Pride” or not because the A-side was awesome, but the B-side were slightly off.  I will say that Satisfaction was a fun pop/rock track and Want you is great for lives.  Not much else to really say about the single.

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SCANDAL – Pride February 14, 2011

Filed under: SCANDAL — solarblade @ 3:12 pm

Track Listing

  1. Pride
  2. CUTE!
  3. Emotion
  4. Pride (Instrumental)

1. Pride

It’s been a little while since we’ve heard from SCANDAL and they come back strong with Pride.  For the first time I think I’ve liked a SCANDAL song from first listen but that’s because there’s quite a lot of good hooks in the song which they lacked in previous efforts.  While I’m still unsure of the singers between HARUNA and MAMI…whoever leads most of it sounds amazing and her deep vocals stand out in the song.  I say…great A-side!

2. CUTE!

I was worried about what I was getting into for the first B-side of the single.  CUTE! definitely caters to the fans that were there for their debut era and I thought MAMI and HARUNA did a good job singing the song since it’s peppy and just full of life.  I must say, I wanted to dance to the song hahaha.

3. Emotion

Closing the single off, Emotion might be the most serious song off the single, but it doesn’t mean that they didn’t have fun with it since I actually think they did.  I mean it might not be as interesting as the previous two songs, but it did its job and the arrangement is pretty darn catchy if you ask me.

As the band’s 2nd single of the era, this was so much more complete than “SCANDAL Nanka Buttobase” since there was actually more songs on it of course.  Now I actually think this is their strongest single yet with all three songs being so well done this time around.  Though Emotion might be less for me.  Either way, I hope that if they choose a B-side I hope CUTE! is on the album ^_^

 

SCANDAL – R-GIRL’s ROCK! November 16, 2010

Filed under: SCANDAL — solarblade @ 12:59 pm

Track Listing

  1. Roppongi Shinjuu
  2. Koibito ga Santa Claus
  3. SINKY-YORK
  4. Rock ‘n’ Roll Widow
  5. DAYDREAM
  6. Sunny Day Sunday
  7. secret base ~Kimi ga Kureta Mono~

1. Roppongi Shinjuu

Beginning the cover mini-album with something I’ve seen covered a couple of times (Nana Kitade & Nanase Aikawa anyone?).  Roppongi Shinjuu is a very cool and dark song and I was especially happy hearing HARUNA, MAMI, and TOMOMI singing along with the tune and maybe RINA on some of the background stuffs, but one of the girls…(HARUNA maybe???) really went deep for the vocals.  I actually think TOMOMI’s part in the song was pretty hardcore though…definitely a great kickstart to the mini.

2. Koibito ga Santa Claus

While this song to me isn’t totally on the top of the list of songs that would have a rock cover, Koibito ga Santa Claus actually ended up better than I thought since it’s not forceful and both HARUNA and TOMOMI do pretty well singing it up on the song.  The chorus is a little blah for them, but considering what the song is, I’ll let it pass since the riffs and verses are pretty awesome and it’s a pretty good Christmas-y tune.

3. SINKY-YORK

Kind of funny-looking name for a song right?  Well, I guess it also can be said for said song since it’s a lot more upbeat and quirky than the last two songs.  Of course HARUNA is the primary singer and actually I think she’s the only solo singer for the song.  Otherwise, I didn’t particular find anything great about the song since it feels so iono…one-sided I guess is a bit much, but it lacks energy that the SCANDAL girls usually have.

4. Rock ‘n’ Roll Widow

Another Momoe Yamaguchi song covered?  She must be pretty damn popular is everyone is suddenly covering her stuff.  Anyways, this is the first time I’ve ran into Rock ‘n’ Roll Widow and the first song I’ve heard that included synths in the arrangement and I was blown away since it’s just that hard and awesome of a song and made up for “SINKY-YORK”.  So of course HARUNA sings and MAMI I think takes up another role here, but it’s still pretty damn epic of a song and I love the riff of the song.  Oh hey, TOMOMI even has a part!  Very much a gem on the mini and reminds me of Nanase’s early days.

5. DAYDREAM

Why yes, it’s bolded because I have already reviewed this a while back on their single, “Yumemiru Tsubasa” and was kind of surprised they’d pull this song forward and placed it here.  I know it’s a cover of a JUDY AND MARY tune and hearing it once again might have blahhed me, but back then I didn’t exactly know who was who except for HARUNA, but now I hear TOMOMI as well and while the whole filtered style kind of worked for their vocals, it sounds rather unusual.  Not bad of a cover, but there’s better!

6. Sunny Day Sunday

Oh the pun that came out of this tune.  Sunny Day Sunday is probably one of those songs where I’d stay away from simply because TOMOMI kind of pushes the cutesy voice a little too hardcore.  Luckily the song is only about 2 minutes and a half.  It’s still pretty annoying of a song and would sound better tagged as a K-ON song XD

7. secret base ~Kimi ga Kureta Mono~

As the final song on the mini, secret base (cover of a ZONE song), was the groups only digital release during the “TEMPTATION BOX” era and I kind of regret passing this song up because it’s so soft and totally unbecoming of them?  Of course HARUNA can sing ballads off nicely and just like they did with “Namida no Regret” this tune sounds great and the vocals were tight.  Good song and surprised it never made “TEMPTATION BOX’s” tracklist.

Being as this is the group’s first cover mini-album (surprising since they do covers all the time), R-GIRL’s ROCK! for the most part was pretty damn good and musically shows them getting better and better and I think they’ve got it to become quite popular.  I still think they should move away from the cutesy stuff like Sunny Day Sunday and stick to a more harder sound, but that’s my two cents.

 

SCANDAL – SCANDAL Nanka Buttobase October 7, 2010

Filed under: SCANDAL — solarblade @ 1:34 am

Track Listing

  1. SCANDAL Nanka Buttobase
  2. SCANDAL Nanka Buttobase (Instrumental)

1. SCANDAL Nanka Buttobase

Wow, you’d think the girls of SCANDAL would learn to somehow take a small break, but here we are with SCANDAL Nanka Buttobase and it’s back to their fun rock style that parallels “ShoujoS”.  Of course the surprise is that all the girls get their own lines and I’ll admit that TOMOMI sounds a bit better here since her high vocals actually fit.  Still with HARUNA, MAMI, and RINA also singing along it made for a great rock tune.  Good song from them and beats out a lot of songs from their recent album.

I’m surprised that it hasn’t even been 2 months since “TEMPTATION BOX” and the girls release this single.  Alright, it kind of disappointing in the way it doesn’t have any B-sides, but I guess it explains the release being so quick.  SCANDAL Nanka Buttobase is definitely not a bad song at all and hope it makes their 3rd album.

 

SCANDAL – TEMPTATION BOX August 10, 2010

Filed under: SCANDAL — solarblade @ 4:11 am

Track Listing

  1. EVERYBODY SAY YEAH
  2. Taiyou to Kimi ga Egaku STORY
  3. Shunkan Sentimental
  4. Houkago 1H
  5. Namida no Regret
  6. Hi-Hi-Hi
  7. Shoujo M
  8. GIRLism
  9. Playboy Part II
  10. Hello! Hello!
  11. Aitai
  12. Sayonara My Friend

1. EVERYBODY SAY YEAH

Kickstarting the album off, EVERYBODY SAY YEAH sounds like a definite album opening.  Of course HARUNA is singing quite a bit when it comes along which is pretty cool.  Though TOMOMI is kind of the songs guillotine which is so disappointing in the least since she sings also quite a lot.  Her voice kind of is too high-pitched for the band itself so it’s like a distraction.  It’s alright, but TOMOMI is bad here.

2. Taiyou to Kimi ga Egaku STORY

Being the second A-side of the era, Taiyou to Kimi ga Ekagu STORY is a bit lighter than the opening song off the album.  I actually thought this song was at least tolerable with TOMOMI singing in it.  HARUNA is still the better vocalist and the other two when they actually get together with the other girls sound nice, but we need more of that.  It’s hard to tell what A-side was my favorite, but I remember this song the most out of the three.

3. Shunkan Sentimental

I’m still kind of thinking “Shoujo S” when it comes to Shunkan Sentimental.  I was surprised that the song was a bit harder than their normal releases, but I was even more surprised at the fact that HARUNA was yelling while TOMOMI had the more controlled parts of the song.  It might be a little topsy-turvy.  I did hear MAMI at one point in the song as well which is OMG good to hear.  It’s so hard to choose which A-side was the best x.x

4. Houkago 1H

However, I was instantly turned off by this song quite immediately.  I mean TOMOMI was in seiyuu vocal land with this song and reminds me of those Houkago Tea Time songs and those turned me off just as fast.  Now I’m sure there’s someone else singing with her acting as backup support in the song, but otherwise this is a TOMOMI solo for all purposes and I disliked her having a solo vocal part.

5. Namida no Regret

Being the final A-side and first rock ballad from the group in their list of A-sides, Namida no Regret is still a strong song from them even though it’s only been out for a short time.  I liked the fact that the gals decided to add strings to the song since well it’s kind of meh without it.  Since this is a return to HARUNA and she’s by herself except in the chorus where the other girls play background to her.  I think it wins just because TOMOMI is absent for main vocals.  So happy with this A-side

6. Hi-Hi-Hi

I’ve noticed the band has taken a liking to using synths in their song and well it shows quite a bit here.  Of course HARUNA & TOMOMI are taking up main vocals and they are singing pretty damn quick.  I mean I love them being edgy and this sort of worked.  TOMOMI sounds so much like Koharu in the song that it isn’t funny.  At least it’s an otherwise short song and it made its mark.

7. Shoujo M

Does this mean it’s a sequel to “Shoujo S”?  I have no idea but the opening synth and guitar melody is pretty catchy for sure.  I’m not sure what to think of the song because there’s no correlation between the two songs since this is more poppy and slower.  I don’t know what’s up with the weird filtering going on with MAMI’s vocals, but w/e the song is different and gets us off that rock style for a little bit.  At least it’s great to hear a solo tune from MAMI, she deserves at least one ^_^

8. GIRLism

Is that MAMI opening the song up?  I’m not sure but since this is the album’s shortest tune, GIRLism is a short and hard song from them since the guitar riffs are in your face.  TOMOMI once again brings out poor vocals, but at least the music is the saving grace and since it’s so short it doesn’t matter too much.

9. Playboy Part II

Wait…there’s a part one?  I don’t remember even there being a first one hahaha!  Now this is something that reminds me of stuff off their first album.  Of course HARUNA leads most of the song and her vocals are well more or less as strong as they are in other songs.  TOMOMI doesn’t play as a big role (chorus work and interlude).  It’s not bad, since I can stand TOMOMI’s vocals a bit better here.  Oh I guess there’s is a first version of it but it was only known in their indies days and never was released (just played live).

10. Hello! Hello!

I was wondering what kind of tune we’d get from this title and of course I was right with it being kind of a genki pop/rock kind of tune and of course TOMOMI makes the most of it.  I guess the track isn’t as strong as most of the oher songs off the album, but it’s alright for right now.

11. Aitai

I actually thought Aitai was going to be another ballad, but it wasn’t.  It’s a mid-tempo rock track from the group and well Aitai actually sounds serious, but good at it.  HARUNA though sounds rather stuffed in this song and that’s probably because her vocals are always like that, I’m just noticing it more in this song than in others. 

12. Sayonara My Friend

Ending the album, Sayonara My Friend is the final ballad of the album and is pretty fitting because of said title.  I don’t know why, but for being a mid-tempo ballad, I actually found myself bored here.  It could’ve just been the tempo that was boring me, but otherwise I was just done with this song after the first minute.  Srry girls but this wasn’t really that good of an album ender.

Tracks Recommended

  • Namida no Regret
  • Shoujo M
  • Taiyou ga Kimi ga Egaku STORY
  • Shunkan Sentimental
  • Hi-Hi-Hi

Song of Avoidance

  • Houkago 1H

SCANDAL’s sophomore album kind of missed its mark this time when compared to their debut, “BEST★SCANDAL”.  I mean once again, the A-sides end up being better than the album tracks which isn’t good and even then the album tracks are pretty much forgettable minus two.  I think they need a new producer and writer I think.

 

SCANDAL – Namida no Regret July 28, 2010

Filed under: SCANDAL — solarblade @ 2:51 am

Track Listing

  1. Namida no Regret
  2. Midnight Television
  3. Shining Sun
  4. Namida no Regret (Instrumental)

1. Namida no Regret

Is it true that this song is the band’s first ballad-like A-side?  Why yes, shouldn’t HARUNA and MAMI in the beginning tell you that that it would be?   I’m still a bit surprised the band took the energy levels down for this A-side, but I think it’s their best A-side of the era and I enjoyed it a bit.  The only thing I would say, is get TOMOMI’s vocals out of the song because they are the only negative thing about the song.  Otherwise, great rock ballad!

2. Midnight Television

I really don’t know how or why SCANDAL suddenly become pretty awesome but Midnight Television is so different from what I’m used to from the band because it’s so weird arrangement-wise and there’s solos from all the girls which is pretty awesome.  Now I think 3 of the 4 girls sound kind of questionable, but I’ll forgive em for putting out a fun song like this.

3. Shining Sun

Are we getting our “ShoujoS” of the era?  It seems so because it’s got that same pop/rock feel to it, but you can oddly dance with it as well.  Now here it’s pretty straightforward and has some catchy riffs which their early stuff had.  Maybe they’re catering to their indies fans, and it worked for me because this song is fun to listen to.

 

 

With “TEMPTATION BOX” right around the corner, Namida no Regret marks the first ballad A-side for the girls and for the most part they came out well through that decision.  They just sound really nice when the meh singers aren’t involved much…even though TOMOMI was.  Midnight Television and Shining Sun are both fun rock songs for the girls and showed that they haven’t lost their fun attitude either.  Good single and is the best of the era.

 

SCANDAL – Taiyou to Kimi ga Egaku STORY May 29, 2010

Filed under: SCANDAL — solarblade @ 6:30 pm

Track Listing

  1. Taiyou to Kimi ga Egaku STORY
  2. KOSHI-TANTAN
  3. Switch
  4. Taiyou to Kimi ga Egaku STORY (Instrumental)

1. Taiyou to Kimi ga Egaku STORY

As odd it is, I finally find a SCANDAL song that is somewhat memorable.  Though I’ll admit that I enjoy HARUNA’s vocals against MAMI’s because the latter sounds rather pitchy for sure.  I do like the mid-tempo feel of the song and it isn’t trying to hard to be edgy like the girls have been putting out.  It’s just interesting that it’s rather upbeat and poppy when compared to the last few singles.

2. KOSHI-TANTAN

The first B-side, KOSHI-TANTAN is probably the messiest thing I’ve heard from the group since their indies days.  I do love the arrangement and the hook to it, but everyone is just yelling their little hearts in the song and MAMI definitely sounds bad for me.  It also suffers a little with the transitioning.  Yeah, how about we just pass this song up, it’s pretty embarassing.

3. Switch

At least the other B-side of the single tones things down after that kind of sloppy work.  Switch actually is more chilled out than “Taiyou to Kimi ga Egaku STORY” and it seems MAMI sings the most in the song and while I still think her voice is a little too squeaky cute for a song like this, she kind of made it work.  Still HARUNA steals the show and wins me over again.  It’s definitely the best of the three songs.

 

 

As the 2nd single of the era, Taiyou to Kimi ga Egaku STORY had a longer lasting impression on me than their last single “Shunkan Sentimental”.  Then again that single was good all the way through unlike here where KOSHI-TANTAN was the bad song.  The other two songs though sounded a lot better and has better hooks so iono, maybe on the same level as each other perhaps…