Kurayami Monogatari

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ANGERME – Nakanai ze…Kyoukan Sagi/Uraha=Lover/Kimi Dake ja nai sa…friends (2018 Acoustic Ver.) April 26, 2018

Filed under: S/mileage — solarblade @ 5:22 am

nakanaize

Track Listing

  1. Nakanai ze…Kyoukan Sagi
  2. Uraha=Lover
  3. Kimi Dake ja nai sa…friends (2018 Acoustic Ver.)
  4. Nakanai ze…Kyoukan Sagi (Instrumental)
  5. Uraha=Lover (Instrumental)
  6. Kimi Dake ja nai sa…friends (2018 Acousic Ver.) (Instrumental)

1. Nakanai ze…Kyoukan Sagi

As the primary A-side for the single, we get Nakanai ze…Kyoukan Sagi first and it’s quite the familiar territory for the group as the song has the upbeat electro sound that ANGERME has been tackling for a little while with songs like “Tsugitsugi Zokuzoku” and “Ai no Tame…” but this one mixes those two aforementioned tracks to become a futuristic bop for the group.  I do like hearing the group starting to even out their line distribution more and more, but knowing Murotan, Kamiko, and a couple of the newer members getting more time to shine!  It’s a pretty decent track and my favorite from the single!

2. Uraha=Lover

As for the 2nd A-side, I wasn’t sure what to expect other than a cuter song in comparison to the other two tracks.  Right from the start, I was kind of thrown off by the vocal filter thrown on Rikako & Murotan in the intro lines.  Though it does clear up once Funakki kicks the verses off.  There’s something odd to the song and I’m not quite as interested with the disjointed guitar in the chorus (though the melody does remind me of something, but not quite sure what).  It does try to push itself as a pop/rock track…it’s coming off a smidge messy in places.

3. Kimi Dake ja nai sa…friends (2018 Acoustic Ver.)

I really wasn’t too thrilled to have found out they would make this song even more of a ballad than its original take.  I never found the original with Murotan, Kawamuu, and Kamiko to be that great and the song was just kind of floating there on that single.  Granted, this time around, I do like the arrangement here with mostly acoustic guitar at its base.  Add on that all the members get a nice line in the song and I think it did a little better than the original.  Still not quite into the full-ballad mode it has and wasn’t expecting to be shorter by doing only two choruses.

 

 

ANGERME finally brings their first release for the year!  After the announcement officially saying that Maho left the group, I think the group just kind of shrugged it off and moved forward to release this single (which funny enough stated that their previous release, “Manner Mode / Kisoku Tadashiku Utsukushiku / Kimi Dake ja nai sa…friends” wasn’t considered an official single for the group), but to be fair I won’t say this is Kawamura & Funaki’s first single in ANGERME.

So the single itself is kind of a hodge-podge in my opinion.  I have to say that Nakanai ze…Kyoukan Sagi is a pretty cool song and fits in their repertoire of other EDM-flourished songs in their discography pretty nicely and Kimi Dake ja nai sa…friends’ updated sound did the song a bit better than the original.  I think the only song that bothers me is Uraha=Lover just from the arrangement being a bit too rough on the edges IMO.  With the recent announcement of Ayacho graduating we have a decent amount of time to get ready for it (she’s planning for next year).  So what could be next for the group has got me curious!

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ANGERME – Manner Mode/Kisoku Tadashiku Utsukushiku/Kimi Dake ja nai sa…friends December 14, 2017

Filed under: S/mileage — solarblade @ 3:02 am

mannermode

Track Listing

  1. Manner Mode
  2. Kisoku Tadashiku Utsukushiku
  3. Kimi Dake ja nai sa…friends
  4. Manner Mode (Instrumental)
  5. Kisoku Tadashiku Utsukushiku (Instrumental)
  6. Kimi Dake ja nai sa…friends (Instrumental)

1. Manner Mode

As the main A-side promoted, Manner Mode kicks the single off with an upbeat, sort-a rockin’ song.  I have to say, the song is pretty cool and hearing Rikako, Ayacho, and Momona having leads is pretty interesting to say the least.  The other members seem to also get lines here and there (but not quite the frequency the 3 mentioned have).  Kind of gives me slight “Umaku Ienai” and some early S/mileage feels here and I dug that about this song…not bad!

2. Kisoku Tadashiku Utsukushiku

Hold on, what’s this??? Is this the second coming of “Otome no Gyakushuu” here?  Quite possibly considering both tracks have this dramatic, gothic-like atmosphere about them.  I am a little confused about the 20 second intro…seemed so random and unusual, but it restarts and we get Funakki & Takechan solos and later Kanana & Rinapuu!  I have to say, this dark setting always seems to impress me when it comes from ANGERME and I always like the whole ~danger of my love~ line too.  It’s pretty neat!  Kind of the star song here and interestingly was initially going to be the primary A-side, but was switched with “Manner Mode”.

3. Kimi Dake ja nai sa…friends

Last, but not least is the song that focuses around the remaining members; Murotan, Kawamuu, and Kamiko!  It definitely feels like the “Toki wo Koe Sora wo Koe” or “The Vision” for ANGERME because of the mellow sound and the arrangement having some similarities to those songs (well, at least up to the chorus because the tune gets more upbeat and hopeful).  There’s a whole lot of Murotan in the song which is awesome…as for the totally new member, Ayano, she’s got a high voice which might rival Ayacho’s!  It’s nice for the most part, but not quite as good as the previous two tracks!

 

 

Is it time for a new album yet?  Seriously though ANGERME, stop adding so many members in such a short period of time lawd!  Now we have two more new members, (Funaki who was basically sent there because Country Girls is in a weird hiatus and brand new member Ayano Kawamura.  Funaki brings in her voice and she stands out with her lower timbre and sounds like she’ll fit in fine while Kawamuu will take a while to get used to because of her higher register.  The single itself is pretty good for the most part, no actual complaints beyond that I’m missing Maho still, but all three songs showcase the best of them!  Just, no more DVD single please…

 

ANGERME – Ai Sae Areba Nanni mo Iranai/Namida Iro no Ketsui/Majokko Megu-chan June 16, 2017

Filed under: S/mileage — solarblade @ 8:48 pm

aisaearebanannimoiranai

Track Listing

  1. Ai Sae Areba Nanni mo Iranai
  2. Namida Iro no Ketsui
  3. Majokko Megu-chan
  4. Ai Sae Areba Nanni mo Iranai (Instrumental)
  5. Namida Iro no Ketsui (Instrumental)
  6. Majokko Megu-chan (Instrumental)

1. Ai Sae Areba Nanni mo Iranai

As the first A-side of the single, I was curious to what the group would put out.  This does feel like a song that could’ve been released when they first changed their name to ANGERME.  The song itself seems to focus solely on Ayacho, Rinapuu, Kanana, and Takechan and they all sound pretty awesome to be fair and I’m kind of liking the slight neo-classical feel about it, but it does sound like a 2013 H!P track where it feels like 3 separate songs stapled together to try to make a full one.  I do like majority of it (the verses & chorus) but when it comes to its prechorus, the shift to a waltz-like style is a bit sudden and out of place.  It’s a good track, but not quite at the level of any of the previous A-sides of their last single.

2. Namida Iro no Ketsui

Has there ever been a ballad released as an A-side for ANGERME (or S/mileage for that matter?) that’s this slow paced?  Either way, like the previous track, it seems like this one focuses solely on Rikako, Murotan, and Kamiko (I’m sure Maho would be here, but since she’s absent in the single, it had to be this way).  As a ballad, it’s a bit to the book, but I do enjoy the effort in making some nice chords to make things pop more.  I will say Moe and Mizuki sound great and while Rikako has a squeaky tone, she still manages to sound decent.  Interesting as an A-side

3. Majokko Megu-chan

Like with their previous A-side, “Mahou Tsukai Sally”, Majokko Megu-chan is a cover of a well-known anime theme.  Though it does have equal line distribution, it does seem to focus a lot on Kassa which makes sense.  Somehow this song reminds me of tracks W used to cover and how the covers has a lot of brass and energy put into it.  It’s a decent cover, I’m not sure if it’ll last long in my memory though.

 

 

Another single that features a member missing in action?  Seems like UFP needs to take care of their girls more it seems like.  Anyway, ANGERME’s newest single is definitely not where I thought it’d be after the glorious “Umaku Ienai / Ai no Tame… / Wasurete Ageru”.  None of the songs really seem to go places for me.  I do like the ballad, Namida Iro no Ketsui the most from the single as it’s something different from the group and there was some efforts compared to previous ballads of theirs.  Ai Sae Areba is decent, but I thought we had left the “Brainstorming”, “Help me!!”, “Aitte Motto Zanshin” mistakes behind.  I’m sure it’ll grow on me in due time though.  Majokko Megu-chan is nice, but it seems a bit standard for me…With all the H!P changes, I kind of wonder what’s going to happen with ANGERME (will Maho leave, will we get new members? etc.).

 

ANGERME – Engeki Joshi-bu Musical “Mode” Original Soundtrack November 10, 2016

Filed under: S/mileage — solarblade @ 5:54 am

mode

Track Listing

  1. MODE
  2. Sakura no Uta
  3. Hanako no Uta
  4. Aiko no Uta
  5. Kayo no Uta
  6. Michiko no Uta
  7. Believe in Me
  8. Oshare wa Onna no Sentoufuku
  9. Fashion Magazine

1. MODE

Opening the play is the main theme of the play and it’s quite a nice change of pace, giving more of a happy-go-lucky arrangement.  I do like Ayacho & Kamiko having the opening lines then the rest of the group (and other members involved in the play) kind of going between lines and being back-up.  Decent track and a nice main theme!

2. Sakura no Uta

It seems majority of the release is solos starting with one from Kanana.  Unlike the breezy feels I got from the theme, Kana’s solo track has much of a more lighthearted, but silly arrangement, though it is weird mixing it with Kana’s more mature vocals which surprise me a lot here!  It is pretty short though barely going over a minute in length, but it’s quirky I suppose.

3. Hanako no Uta

Next up is Rikako’s solo song for the play and she gets a song that feels like a Venetian Waltz, but that’s actually pretty cool meaning that the OST has variety going on!  That said, while Rikako isn’t the best singer in ANGERME, her higher tone has a nice light flair that accentuates the song itself and she adds some cool things like rolling her notes here and there and going into a chest tone.  Interesting track, but one that worked for Rikako.

4. Aiko no Uta

It is strange we get two waltz tracks, but this one is a Rinapuu solo!  Coming after Rikako’s track, Aiko no Uta in comparison is a little more youthful sounding and it helps that Rina’s vocals are also light and bright.  It feels like she’s getting so much better in line delivery and her high note at the end was very nice (almost reminding me of her high note in “Umaku Ienai”).  I do think it doesn’t really set itself too far apart from the previous track, but I enjoyed it just for Rina.

5. Kayo no Uta

I was surprised that Momona even got a solo track here as she was just added to the group quite shortly before the stageplay happened.  Her song changes things up and gives a bit of a bossa nova vibe here.  While she’s probably the greenest of the group and has a bit of a long road to catching up, it’s an OK track for her and doesn’t ask too much from her.

6. Michiko no Uta

The last of the ___Uta songs, we finally end up with a solo from Moe.  Surprised that of them songs, this is the only ballad amongst them.  I have to say ever since she joined ANGERME, Kamiko is a strong singer and one of the most impressive voices at the start!  The tune might not be in the original side of things, but it definitely showcased Moe’s great vocals!

7. Believe in Me

Next is a track that featured Ayaka on her own!  I kind of liked that the song moved into something like that could be easily chantable in performances with the beat as punched up as it is.  I do still think Ayacho’s voice is shaky and somewhat struggles with longer notes, but I do like its upbeat lyrics and sound.

8. Oshare wa Onna no Sentoufuku

The other song that features everyone, Oshare wa Onna no Sentoufuku initially reminds me of “MODE” because of the similar upbeat sound, but it does stick out a little bit.  Though this definitely feels like a musical track because the arrangement almost sounds cheap to me with the sort-a 90’s-esque CASIO-pop feel.  There is a whole lot of Ayacho in this as well so that’s here nor there for me.  Overall, it’s ok but nothing too special.

9. Fashion Magazine

Then we have our final track (which, random fact, was the initial name for the stageplay before they settled into Mode).  The song is sung by Ayacho, Kanana, and Takechan!  I’m not sure what genre this would be under, but it has a bit more of a pop/rock/synth feel.  It is a pretty quirky song and the trio sound great together even if Ayaka has most lines (as usual).  OK song, but once again could’ve been more memorable?

 

 

As the preview release before the DVD+CD drops, ANGERME’s Mode stageplay OST does seem like a little more effort was put into it (at least more than I thought originally) and for the most part was a nice release.  Of course there are songs that I could live without, but there wasn’t as many complaints here as there were with “Higashi no Chihei, Nishi no Towa”.  I just hope the rerelease will include solo tracks for the remaining ANGERME members.

 

ANGERME – Umaku Ienai/Ai no Tame Kyou Made Shinkashite Kita Ningen, Ai no Tame Subete Taikashite Kita Ningen/Wasurete Ageru October 10, 2016

Filed under: S/mileage — solarblade @ 3:17 pm

umakuienai

Track Listing

  1. Umaku Ienai
  2. Ai no Tame Kyou Made Shinkashite Kita Ningen, Ai no Tame Subete Taikashite Kita Ningen
  3. Wasurete Ageru
  4. Umaku Ienai (Instrumental)
  5. Ai no Tame Kyou Made Shinkashite Kita Ningen, Ai no Tame Subete Taikashite Kita Ningen (Instrumental)
  6. Wasurete Ageru (Instrumental)

1. Umaku Ienai

As the first A-side of the single, Umaku Ienai is pretty interesting of a song as its done by Takui Nakajima (same guy who did “Taikibansei”).  So it’s no surprise that the song is just as funky and full of sass.  Actually it is pretty catchy for the first half and brings back the same unbridled energy that the aforementioned song brought.  HOWEVER, once the 2nd verses start, the song move into a very weird position with a totally different arrangement and melody which throws me off and doesn’t make too much sense.  I do like all the members got a line in that part, but it’s still such an awkward inclusion.  It does clean itself up for the final run through the chorus (where there’s a great Rinapuu high note).  Still most of the song is great, it’s just that middle section that I’m not so sure about…

2. Ai no Tame Kyou Made Shinkashite Kita Ningen, Ai no Tame Subete Taikashite Kita Ningen

Probably the longest H!P title yet, what was initially the leading track became the 2nd A-side of the single.  I can see it was chosen to lead first since this is the introduction to new member, Momona Kasahara.  The song itself sticks itself to the recent EDM style that ANGERME had adopted and the song and lyrics come off pretty futuristic.  These kind of songs really catch me eye and it’s just a pretty cool song.  As for Momona, she had the first lines and she handled them well but there’s something missing in her voice whereas Kamiko really powered through.  Great A-side!

3. Wasurete Ageru

Rounding the single out, we have Wasurete Ageru and at first listen, it reminded me of “Itoshima Distance” with less saxes.  I don’t know what it is with this group in particular, but with 9 members, I find it great that they get to showcase all the members in some fashion, even the newer members!  I’m actually surprised with how much Rina is in this song (and for the rest of the single at that).  I do like the song, maybe not quite as much as the previous two tracks, but it sticks out.

 

 

Wow, I still am kind of surprised ANGERME had added another new member after Moe with Momona (to take up the space that Meimi left behind).  For the most part, Umaku Ienai/Ai no Tame…/Wasurete Ageru is a pretty strong single for the group and I would say better than “Tsugitsugi Zokuzoku/Itoshima Distance/Koi Nara Tokku ni Hajimatteru” just from how catchy all three songs were.  I do think Umaku Ienai was good, but that middle section was a bit absurd to me.  Luckily Ai no Tame Kyou Made Shinkashite Kita Ningen, Ai no Tame Subete Taikashite  Kita Ningen came in and brought us some strong EDM and Wasurete Ageru was a nice serious sounding song…Overall a great single!

 

ANGERME – Tsugitsugi Zokuzoku/Itoshima Distance/Koi Nara Tokku ni Hajimatteru April 25, 2016

Filed under: S/mileage — solarblade @ 6:54 pm

tsugitsugi

Track Listing

  1. Tsugitsugi Zokuzoku
  2. Itoshima Distance
  3. Koi Nara Tokku ni Hajimatteru
  4. Tsugitsugi Zokuzoku (SWG REMIX) (Vinyl edition only)
  5. Tsugitsugi Zokuzoku (Instrumental)
  6. Itoshima Distance (Instrumental)
  7. Koi Nara Tokku ni Hajimatteru (Instrumental)

1. Tsugitsugi Zokuzoku

Kicking off the single, we have Tsugitsugi Zokuzoku and just from going by the title, I knew this song was going to be something unexpected.  Why I’m not surprised that it would become one of the more exciting and epic songs (seems like ANGERME has been getting such strong tracks since their rebranding) the the group would release.  Carrying on their strong hitting EDM sound, Tsugitsugi Zokuzoku is pretty damn cool for the group to tackle.  Going from quickly paced lyrics to rapping sections, it’s a surprisingly filled track.  Also it seems all the girls got a lot of lines with focus on Takechan, Meimi, Kanana, and Ayacho.  Even new member Moe seems to fit in the group just so smoothly!  Damn good song here!

2. Itoshima Distance

Moving to the 2nd A-side, Itoshima Distance takes on a more latin-like vibe with some sexy saxophones thrown in for the win :D.  It seems like there’s a lot more focus on Murotan, Rikako, Aiai, and Kamiko (Moe) in this track especially in the chorus which is nice to hear and while I’m still trying to get used to Maho’s vocals, I think everyone does fine in the track (well Ayacho still can’t do high notes very well).  Overall, it’s a decent track for the new members to tackle and the arrangement stuck to me pretty quickly.

3. Koi Nara Tokku ni Hajimatteru

The last A-side, Koi Nara Tokku ni Hajimatteru begins with a monologue from Meimi (as she’s graduating after this single).  While this song feels like EDM done back a couple years ago because this is the first Tsunku-produced track since the group rebranded.  The focus here is definitely on Takechan, Rinapuu, Meimi, Kanana, and Ayacho here and it makes sense with “Itoshima Distance” being largely focused on the new members.  I do like the song, but there’s a part in the chorus where they smush lyrics together and that’s a bit distracting, but overall it’s nice.

4. Tsugitsugi Zokuzoku (SWG REMIX)

With C-ute and Momusu also doing vinyls, ANGERME comes in with their own with a bonus remix.  Tsugitsugi Zokuzoku was just fine as it was so I was kind of worried for the remix and for good reason because this doesn’t come close to really impressing me.  It stripped away a lot of what made it good and gave us this lowbrow synth/guitar riff that feels well…empty.  Blech remix!

 

 

ANGERME begins the new year on some weird footing as the first single without Kanon, the first for 4th Gen member, Moe, and being Meimi’s last single before graduation, I feel like as if this is a transitioning single.  Tsugitsugi Zokuzoku is such a great song for the group and just shows us a cool ANGERME that we’ve had with a bunch of songs previous though I would stay away from the remix.  Itoshima Distance is classy and has a nice arrangement though the vocals could be strange if you’re not used to the 4 new members.  Koi Nara Tokku ni Hajimatteru though feels dated to me, but this is the first Tsunku-produced song for the group so I’m just not sure how to feel about this one yet.  Overall, a decent single it’ll be sad seeing Meimi gone, but with Moe in the group…she’s already sounding GORGEOUS!

 

ANGERME – S/mileage / ANGERME SELECTION ALBUM “Taikibansei” December 9, 2015

Filed under: S/mileage — solarblade @ 8:16 am

selectiontaikibansei

Track Listing

  1. Taikibansei
  2. Otome no Gyakushuu
  3. Nana Korobi Ya Oki
  4. Mahou Tsukai Sally
  5. aMa no Jaku
  6. Watashi no Kokoro
  7. Yattaruchan
  8. Gashinshoutan
  9. Thank You! Crème Brûlée no Yuujou
  10. Jitensha Chiririn
  11. Chikyuu wa Kyou mo Ai wo Hagukumu
  12. Yuugure Koi no Jikan
  13. Watashi, Choito Kawaii Urabanchou
  14. Kousaten (Regular only)
  15. Namida wa Chou ni Kawaru (Limited A only)
  16. Marionette 37°C (Limited B only)
  17. Tomo yo (Regular only)
  18. Kakugoshite (Limited A only)
  19. Asesaite Carnival (Limited B only)

1. Taikibansei

No surprise that the album would begin with the title track, Taikibansei (which is a Takui Nakajima cover, sort of, meaning this came out first though Takui was woring on his version first).  As the debut for Rikako, Mizuki, and Maho…this song did quite a good job.  Well, it was a pretty good song to celebrate new beginnings but in showing off the new members only Murotan managed to pull off a strong solo line (alongside Ayacho).  Still, this song is exciting and VERY refreshing for the group…ahhh just an amazing way to kick this album off!

2. Otome no Gyakushuu

Of course they would put its sister A-side as the 2nd track!  Otome no Gyakushuu was the more mysterious and goth song and I loved it as well!  There’s something so sinister with the opening and pre-verse lines that’s so cool.  Though I think I was entranced by the verses themselves (once again showing off Murotan more than the other two members).  I also heard more Kanana and Rinapuu here which fascinated me too!  I will say that the interlude (where Maho has her visual solo) was a bit out of left field, but I still think this was a cool song for them to have.

3. Nana Korobi Ya Oki

Moving to their 2nd single of 2015, Nana Korobi Ya Oki took the energy and amped up quite a bit and honestly suited coming after “Otome no Gyakushuu” with some similar themes going on.  The twist to this song though is that Rikako, Rinapuu, and Nyon weren’t involved very much lyrically (they whispered the title before verses and the ending too).  That being said, the remaining 6 singers were fitting and just won me over!  Even Maho managed to impress me (being her first time getting a solo).  Great song overall!

4. Mahou Tsukai Sally

Despite being a triple A-side (will explain later), we skip over “Gashinshoutan” for the time being and enter the anime theme cover for Mahou Tsukai Sally.  Focusing on the 3 new members, I was a bit shocked the decision was put upon Murotan, Rikako, and Aiai to have majority of the solos (besides Ayaka and Kanon’s dialogue in the interlude).  The song itself is interesting giving this kind of silly jig kind of sound.  It’s definitely a magical song though and the hooks are REALLY earworm-y.

5. aMa no Jaku

The rest of the album are songs chosen by all 9 members (as in before Nyon graduated and Moe joined).  I could easily guess that Ayacho chose this song and I can’t blame her as this is S/mileage’s debut song!  Jumping from the most recent songs ALL THE WAY back to 2009.  Being when it was just Ayacho, Nyon, Yuukarin, and Sakitty…aMa no Jaku sounds a lot more thoughtful and nostalgic to many in that time period.  I still like the sort-of anison feel to it, but then hearing the 4 members is just so nice.  It’s a catchy song and I’ve grown to enjoy the 4 voices more than I did back when I first reviewed this single.

6. Watashi no Kokoro

I’m really not surprised that Kanon chose Watashi no Kokoro (a song from the group’s “② Smile Selection” album) simply because Kanon did a solo version of it during their “SMILE FANTASY!” stageplay.  I mean despite the fact that it’s a ballad, I am a little bored by this song but H!P ballads rarely capture my attention so unfortunately it’s a bit of a bummer.

7. Yattaruchan

Another choice I saw coming, Kanana chose Yattaruchan and it’s easy to see why…it’s because she’s all over this song!  I really enjoy the whole spazzy sense of the song and it’s quirky enough to just stick to my mind like glue.  I’m just fascinated with how happy Kana was with this song and for good reason, its a fun, decent A-side from the group.

8. Gashinshoutan

Chosen by Takechan, I was actually a little confused why she chose the 2nd A-side from their last single.  Regardless, this song is also quite quirky and just fun to listen to.  Kicking off with a nice lengthy solo from Kanon, this song eventually brings everyone in ANGERME into a solo line fest and I’m loving it tons.  It’s a song that brought back the silly and unique sounding group that has been for quite a while a little bit more mature.

9. Thank You! Crème Brûlée no Yuujou

Of all the choices, I actually was surprised by Rina’s choice.  Taking the B-side from the group’s major label debut single, “Yumemiru 15sai”, It actually took me a while to remember what it supposed to sound like.  Finally relistening to it, this track is pretty genki and fitting for the back then 4-nin S/mileage.  Though, I think it’s the strange song on this album because of it’s almost sugary anison cuteness.  Though I’m happy that something as obscure as this made the tracklist.

10. Jitensha Chiririn

I guess the same could be said about this song (B-side from “Uchouten LOVE”) but I had just reviewed it earlier in the year because Takechan did a solo from once again…, “SMILE FANTASY!”.  I like the music-box intro and the kind of mid-tempo “Aruiteru”-ish kind of arrangement that we do get.  Being the final B-side to include Saki, this song is kind of sad to listen to, but still ultimately B-side material.  I think it’s one of their better ones though.  I’m just surprised Meimi chose this and not Takechan…

11. Chikyuu wa Kyou mo Ai wo Hagukumu

Getting into the new girls’ choices we begin with Murotan’s and she chose the A-side that came before she joined the group (and subsequently the name change).  It was a pretty cool song with the electronics and sexy saxophone filling the speakers.  Being mostly sung by Ayacho and Takechan, this tune was just a cool song for the group to tackle.  Definitely one of the cooler songs from the compilation.

12. Yuugure Koi no Jikan

So Maho’s choice is also a little on the strange side, another song from “② Smile Sensation”, Yuugure Koi no Jikan was one of the more cuter upbeat songs from the album and while I respect Aiai for choosing an album song, it’s not one that I enjoy really.  I do like how the song slightly resembles Berryz’ old song, “21ji Made no Cinderella” by arrangement and such, but beyond that…not that memorable of a song.

13. Watashi, Choito Kawaii Urabanchou

Last, but not least, we have Rikako’s choice which is also not surprising that she chose this because she’s performed this solo during her recital test (way before she joined the group, back in her Kenshuusei days).  Being the B-side from “Samui ne.”, this was a much edgier song with guitars and powerful vocals.  It’s another decent B-side with some good vocals and good group chemistry going on.

14a. Kousaten

So most fans are mostly going to get this due to 6 new songs (although it’s stretched in half by three albums (2 per version).  Currently, it seems like ANGERME is only promoting this song and “Tomo yo” (the Regular edition exclusives) and that’s kind of a bummer because the limited editions were much more interesting.  Kousaten by fans seem like it’s the “Mikaeri Bijin” of the release as it’s sung only by everyone but Kanon.  I do like the arrangement a bit better than “Watashi no Kokoro” but it’s still quite simple as things go.  It’s OK, but forgetful.

14b. Namida wa Chou ni Kawaru

Next up is the Limited exclusives and Namida wa Chou ni Kawaru definitely takes a page from Juice=Juice’s “Hadaka no Hadaka no Hadaka no KISS” almost to a strong point.  Though I don’t think it has the same footwork to make it pop out much stronger.  I’m not sure if the chorus works with this song, but I’m liking the verses (Maho sounds a little odd  though).  Still, the latin flair is kind of cool and something the group hasn’t tackled really.

14c. Marionette 37°C

I’m starting to wonder if Kanon didn’t take part in any of these songs as I haven’t heard her in any of the songs.  Anyways, Limited B has this song which has a cool goth-y flair to it and I’m surprised to hear a lot of Rikako and Rinapuu in this track, but it somehow works (and I do love the Halloween waltz-like atmosphere here.  It’s one of the more unique efforts for the group and I’m just surprised it’s not being promoted and such.

15a. Tomo yo

So the other song that’s been performed is actually sounding more like an encore song for performances due to its high energy, positive lyrics and just overall appearance.  It’s a lot more punchy than even “Watashi, Choito Kawaii Urabanchou” but I’m fine with that.  It’s actually a bit like Momusu’s “Namidacchi” minus the ballad-y sections.  It’s interesting though.

15b. Kakugoshite

I’m not sure where to even start with this one, I actually still am on the fence with this one.  Lot of the hook bothers me and is kind of repeated too much for my enjoyment, but the chorus is pretty good though.  The arrangement is kind of strange and I’m not sure where they want to take it.  I’m a bit confused from this song.

15c. Asesaite Carnival

Closing the album out, it seems like they were trying to carve out anoher song similar to “Namida wa Chou ni Kawaru” by being a little latin as well, but the arrangement is much more happier and brighter in comparison.  I quite enjoyed the song and it’s so much fun (though the dubstep parts are so unnecessary).  Cool track!

Tracks Recommeded

  • Taikibansei
  • Chikyuu wa Kyou mo Ai wo Hagukumu
  • Asesaite Carnival
  • Otome no Gyakushuu
  • Nana Korobi Ya Oki

Song of Avoidance

  • Watashi no Kokoro

Strange to see myself reviewing this best album, but there’s a lot of new stuff or songs that haven’t been put on an album, so I thought I’d get it out of the way.  SELECTION ALBUM “Taikibansei” is a bit strange overall with the whole concept.  I kind of figured that the older songs would’ve been updated with the current 9-nin (though with Kanon shortly leaving after the release, I suppose it’d be moot unless it was just the remaining 8, or held it off to include Kamiko).  I thought the 9 of them mostly chose good songs, if not a bit too predictable for some (Nyon, Ayacho, Rikako, Kanana).  The 6 new tracks are pretty cool too and nice reasons to buy it, still would’ve loved a 3rd studio album over this, but eh.