Kurayami Monogatari

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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.

 

ANGERME – Desugita Kui wa Utarenai/Dondengaeshi/Watashi November 9, 2015

Filed under: S/mileage — solarblade @ 5:21 pm

aglm_SgA-CDDVDh14obi

Track Listing

  1. Desugita Kui wa Utarenai
  2. Dondengaeshi
  3. Watashi
  4. Desugita Kui wa Utarenai (Instrumental)
  5. Dondengaeshi (Instrumental)
  6. Watashi (Instrumental)

1. Desugita Kui wa Utarenai

I kind of chuckled when the song opened up with that horror fanfare line, but things really jump off the cliff.  The tune is definitely a shift in sound for the group taking a more speed rock kind of arrangement (partially because some of the song was worked on by Yuki Uozumi (a member of Reina Tanaka’s band Lovendor).  It makes sense since the song is just metal enough to raise some eyebrows.  To be honest though, while I do like the song mostly, the chorus with the speeding drums bothers me…just a bit too messy for my liking.  Though the group is just powerful and definitely kept up with the furious arrangement.

2. Dondengaeshi

If I thought “Desugita Kui wa Utarenai” was too chaotic, then Dondengaeshi is the controlled chaos.  Actually, it does come off slightly as an anison song, but I’m really enjoying the arrangement and the girls once again are really powerful sounding (a little less shouty than in the previous track).  Likewise, this song just punches you in the face with the guitarwork and heavy drumming, but I definitely felt like this was more cohesive as a track overall.  Definitely a badass track!

3. Watashi

After two rock songs, Watashi is a bit out of place and strange to be on this single.  HOWEVER, this song is solo song for Kanon Fukuda who’s graduating at the end of the month.  The kind of dance-pop arrangement is pretty nice sounding and does make some nods to dubstep as well (luckily it doesn’t come to the forefront.  Nyon sounds like what she was when she first joined S/mileage actually (squeaky and cutesy).  It’s good enough graduation song, but sticks out in a weird way being put next to two rock/metal songs.

As the 3rd ANGERME single, I thought this single is kind of good, but not as good as their last two singles.  Desugita Kui wa Utarenai is good, but it’s definitely way too chaotic for me to fully enjoy whereas Dondengaeshi fixed it right up and that made it my favorite song from the single.  While there’s not a lot of time for Nyon to perform Watashi, it’s a cute graduation song (a lot more better than Sayumi’s “Shabadaboo~”).  Still with this single out, we have to now wait for Nyon’s graduation and the impending addition of 4th Gen (if it’s going to happen)…

 

Morning Musume ’14 / S/mileage – Engeki Joshi-bu Musical “LILIUM -Lilium Shoujo Junketsu Kageki-” Original Soundtrack November 2, 2015

Filed under: Morning Musume,S/mileage — solarblade @ 6:41 am

lilium

Track Listing

  1. Forget-me-not ~Watashi wo Wasurenai de~
  2. Eli, Eli, Lema Sabachthani? (CD only) or Eli, Eli, Lema Sabachthani? (Kanzen-ban) (CD+DVD only)
  3. Sylvatica Nante Iranai!
  4. Mayuki no Teaching
  5. Gensou Genwaku Innocence
  6. Princess Marguerite
  7. Aru Niwashi no Monogatari
  8. Hitoribocchi no Snow
  9. TRUE OF VAMP
  10. Kyoudou Gensou Utopia
  11. Mou Nakanai to Kimeta
  12. Himitsu no Hana ga Hokorobu (CD+DVD only)
  13. Sousou Shuukyoku “Stigma” (CD+DVD only)
  14. Anata wo Aishita Kioku
  15. Eien no Mayuki no Owari
  16. Shoujo Junketsu

1. Forget-me-not ~Watashi wo Wasurenai de~

Opening the album, we get a very somber and depressing intro with orchestral instruments.  I really do enjoy these darker arrangements already!  Seems like Sakura is the first to sing and as such she’s a pretty strong vocalist and her lighter almost flippant vocals are pretty to hear.  Once the chorus opens up, the rest of the cast joins in and adds a more unsettling tone of a stageplay and I quite enjoy it!  It’s a different way to open things up, but has definitely added more interest to the rest of the songs.  Though the ending passage to go on a bit too long for me, but it’s suspenseful!

2a. Eli, Eli, Lema Sabachthani?

As it seems that the next song is the leading song for the stageplay (as it was put on “Petit Best 15”)  Eli, Eli, Lema Sabachthani? unlike the first track, just kicked down the doors and gave us a pretty damn dramatic song.  Most of the solos went towards Riho, Ayaka, Nyon, Sakura, Fukuchan, and Meimi which is nice because I definitely think they were at the time the most well-known voices of their own groups.  I really like the energy from those 6 and the chorus isn’t so bad either as the rest of the cast joins up.  Very cool song and I can see why it was used to promote the group.

2b. Eli, Eli, Lema Sabachthani? (Kanzen-ban)

On the rerelease of the album (though it included the DVD of the play itself), we get a slightly edited version of the tune.  At first glance, I wasn’t sure of what changed exactly, but I do know that it is 10 seconds longer than the version above.  There actually is an interesting addition and that’s this weird chanting slow chorale section after the first chorus and interlude.  Kind of weird outside of context because it doesn’t add much to the overall song which is still pretty ass-kicking.

3. Sylvatica Nante Iranai!

Though things change from the strong kick to something a little more playful with Sylvatica Nante Iranai!  While it is mostly a song centered around Riho, we do get solo lines from Ayumi, Zukki, Kanana, Takechan, and Rinapuu but they seem to mostly sing together most of the time (at least those 5 get a solo).  I do like the kind of creepy, but upbeat deep in the forest vibe I got here and Riho was pretty decent here.  Quick song, but pleasant.

4. Mayuki no Teaching

Then we enter the kind of weird place with Mayuki no Teaching.  It seems a bit more regal, but also sounds somewhat bumbling for some reason.  Being a duet between Nyon and Fukuchan, I actually found this kind of forgettable since the arrangement is like I said bumbling and kind of humorous in the slow way.  On top of that, I don’t think either girl shown much vocal strength here either which ended up making me somewhat frown, not the best.

5. Gensou Genwaku Innocence

Next up, it seems we return to that foreboding and depressing sound we heard from “Forget-me-not” but the difference is that this is an Ayacho solo and while I never thought of her as a strong vocalist (especially in S/mileage), her solo is actually pretty good as she doesn’t stress her vocals as much as she usually does (although the chorus is pushing it as her voice is thin and she’s taking big breaths).  As short as it is though, the arrangement was eerie, but really unique…a love/hate relationship.

6. Princess Marguerite

Then we come to the song that I pretty much loathe on this album, strangely enough doesn’t seem to fit either (lucky in the stageplay it does).  Mostly a Masaki solo, it does also include 3 Kenshuusei at the time: Nanami Tanabe, Kaede Kaga, and Rikako Sasaki.  As the shortest, it also left the worst taste because Masaki was using her squeaky baby vocals and I’m not a fan of that.  It’s almost disney-esque especially with Masaki playing said princess and singing about herself.  Just doesn’t work for me and while I do like that it’s the only song to feature these three KSS, it’s still just blech.

7. Aru Niwashi no Monogatari

Then we get into some acoustics with the next track.  After the abyssmal “Princess Marguerite”, this is pretty refreshing.  Predominantly sung between Riho and Sakura it’s a decent ballad between the two and they don’t harmonize too much.  Though there is a patch of lyrics where the rest of the cast sings for some bars but that area I kind of forget about because I’m more into Sakura and Riho’s vocal sections.  It’s not a bad track and another that’s ultimately short so it doesn’t leave too much of an impression sadly.

8. Hitoribocchi no Snow

So a sort-of solo for Ayumi comes up next and it kind of has the same bounce and tendencies with “Sylvatica Nante Iranai!” and “Himitsu no Hana ga Hokorobu”.  While I don’t think it’s as memorable as the two because Ayumi’s vocals are kind of flat and lack some emotion (in my opinion).  Masaki, Rinapuu, Zukki, and Takechan do have a solo each as well which is pretty nice and all 5 do start to sing together.  My favorite is the ending where they start to repeat the title and it slows down to the finishing point.  OK song overall.

9. TRUE OF VAMP

For a title to be in all caps, I was curious because well that and the fact ~vamp~ is in the title.  Sung between Riho, Ayacho, and Meimi.  Now we’ve had Peaberry to see how Riho and Ayacho worked and while their song was boring, they sound pleasant to each other.  With the already powerful voie from Meimi, I definitely was curious and Meimi showed off some emotional punch to Ayacho’s lighter vocals and Riho’s well…she was there haha.  Together they sounded epic and gave a strong performance.  Great song!

10. Kyoudou Gensou Utopia

What’s this?!? A Duu solo on here?  That’s amazingly surprisng and really cool that she got to have this spotlight for a bit (which does follow her heavily on “TRIANGLE”).  I will say I wish the song was in more of the dark and dreary arrangement for some reason.  I still do love Haruka’s voice in the song has her husky vocals are interesting and adds depth and maturity.  Her time singing is pretty short though as the cast starts to singing the chorus before we get a long instrumental ending.  Overall, Kyoudou Gensou Utopia is simple, but I enjoyed Duu’s presence.

11. Mou Nakanai to Kimeta

Next up is a Meimi solo and I was surprised she was given the minimal arrangement as this song has.  Just a lonsome piano and some low-lying strings to play around with.  While this showed a lot of Meimi’s skills and it’s just very impressive because she could be a powerhouse when it comes to things like this.  For as ridiculously simple this song was, I think it showcased Meimi perfectly!

12. Himitsu no Hana ga Hokorobu

So the rerelease of the OST included two extra tracks and I was surprised at the inclusion (and started a trend in H!P with stageplays sadly).  Having a similar sounding arrangement to “Sylvatica Nante Iranai!”, Himitsu no Hana ga Hokorobu features Ayumi, Zukki, Rinapuu, and Takechan singing and ironically they sound nice enough to have a track like this…though it’s funny they name various characters within the stageplay but I guess I’m used to it.  I quite liked this song and the quartet surprised me in a good way!

13. Sousou Shuukyoku “Stigma”

The other exclusive song seems to take from “Eli, Eli, Lema Sabachthani?” in which it’s more rock-centered and a bit more gothic-style (especially the whole pipe organ intro).  As it’s sung by Riho, Nyon, Sakura, and Meimi…this quartet was more seen as a powerful bunch and this song definitely had that kind of powerful and grandiose kick.  It’s a pretty kickass song and another of my favorites from the album!

14. Anata wo Aishita Kioku

Honestly, this was about the time where I was still unsure of how Kanana and Rinapuu was turning out, but this song blew me away (at least for Kana).  A duet between Sakura and Kana…I was SO surprised at how mature Kanana sounded and honestly, if not for Meimi in this play, Kana had the best vocals from S/mileage!  As she’s got the most lines, her voice had seriously got mature and she even sounds better than Sakura :0.  The song itself is pretty straightforward, but the kind of marching punch is cool too.  Still vocally I was impressed heavily!

15. Eien no Mayuki no Owari

Next up, we get a Riho solo and I was curious with it’s muffled arrangement (kind of like machinery working).  I was enjoying Riho’s placement here and while I enjoyed the buildup and instant drop-off back to the rickety beat, it’s a different kind of song.  After a bit, the cast starts to sing the remaining lines and it’s OK, but I think I would’ve preferred this to have entirely just been Riho.  A rather dark song about death though, so it’s a cool song, but could’ve been better.

16. Shoujo Junketsu

Finally we’re at the end of the album and we have Shoujo Junketsu (which I believe was the final tune).  As an all cast song, it’s actually kind of weird as it’s as dark and somber like the rest of the stageplay (well disregarding the more playful songs).  With the rock elements included, I was kind of hoping for some kind of closure, but this one kind of dragged for me, but I don’t think it’s a bad song…just after an album like this, it’s kind of difficult to put this somewhere high.

Tracks Recommended

  • Sousou Shuukyoku “Stigma”
  • Eli, Eli, Lema Sabachthani?
  • Anata wo Aishita Kioku
  • TRUE OF VAMP
  • Kyoudou Gensou Utopia

Song of Avoidance

  • Princess Marguerite

So as I’m beginning to review H!P’s stageplays of recent times, I thought to begin with the one that really kicked the uprise for them, LILIUM.  I think why everyone really loved this soundtrack and OST is pretty much of the fact that it was such a departure from H!P’s regular releases that anything out of the ordinary was welcomed and so LILIUM’s more goth-lolita vibe turned out to be pretty awesome.  Also, it showcased (at that time) a very strong assortment of vocals and a lot ended up impressing me or being a surprise that they had such talent (Meimi, Haruka, and Kana…I’m looking at you!  Overall, great album, but there were some meh songs.