Kurayami Monogatari

Would love a comment every so often <<

EVANPONY – Just rock with me November 18, 2012

Filed under: Stereopony — solarblade @ 3:59 am

Track Listing

  1. Just rock with me
  2. Namida Nante Mishite Yannai

1. Just rock with me

So let me explain, EVANPONY is really just Stereopony with Evan Taubenfeld (a name familiar to Avril Lavigne fans as he used to be the lead guitarist).  So here we are with Just rock with me and I’m finding myself enjoying the song because it sounds like the band went for more of a punk feel ala Avril which is a cool mix of sounds.  Evan also has a little part of vocals (backup mostly) but he’s doing guitarwork.  AIMI sounds slightly different but there’s a reason for that which I’ll get to at the bottom of the review.  Overall, the song isn’t terrible, but the trio has done better.

2. Namida Nante Mishite Yannai

The good thing about the B-side is that we’re back down to just the three ladies and for a B-side, Namida Nante Mishite Yannai sounds like normal Stereopony which is great to hear and AIMI sounds like her older ways.  I really love that she showed her vocals a lot better here since I was wondering how she would do given her situation and all that.  The song has good flow and it sounds like a serious song with the mood and all.

 

 

As the first single under the name EVANPONY, Just rock with me is a good start…HOWEVER…things had changed up so quickly for Stereopony.  AIMI who had taken a break to get polyps surgery has called it quits and is leaving the band to SHIHO and NOHANA who said they will continue with Evan.  To me, I feel like they’ll both call it quits after a couple of more singles because AIMI did hold the group together…so it’s a sad single to listen to because it will be the final single for AIMI.  The single is good, though I like the B-side a lot more than the leading track. 

 

Stereopony – stand by me May 31, 2012

Filed under: Stereopony — solarblade @ 3:14 am

Track Listing

  1. stand by me
  2. Okami
  3. stand by me -Animation ver.-
  4. stand by me -Instrumental-
  5. Okami -Instrumental-

1. stand by me

I was hoping for a new edgy A-side to come from Stereopony and we get our wish with stand by me!  I love AIMI’s vocals in the song, it’s pretty on point and SHIHO and NOHANA of course doing their things and all three come together in a pretty strong sound.  It’s not a powerful like “Namida no Mukou” or “Smilife” but it’s still a pretty passable track. 

2. Okami

Well, if you guys wanted something edgier, then Okami might be your song.  I love the punch of the intro from the guitars and then it moves into something more progressive and energetic from the trio.  AIMI sounds cool as well…showing a lot of control in her voice and giving a powerful punch.  This would be a song that would be amazing to be heard live since there’s some crowd chanting.  What loose cannon of a song but so good!

 

 

Kicking off a new era of singles, stand by me is definitely an improvement over much of the “More! More!! More!!!” singles that were released.  stand by me brought the band back to what really impresses me about them and that’s their animu rock tunes.  Okami though was the trio rocking out, having fun, and just letting it all out!  This was a great way to start things off, *RECOMMENDED*

 

Stereopony – More! More!! More!!! December 25, 2011

Filed under: Stereopony — solarblade @ 8:23 pm

Track Listing

  1. Introduction
  2. Blowin’ in the wind
  3. Hana Hiraku Oka
  4. I am a Hero
  5. Tatoeba Utaekunattara
  6. Chiisana Mahou
  7. Bibara Bibara
  8. Amaryllis
  9. Super Girl
  10. Oshare Banchou 2011 ~feat. NAOTO from ORANGE RANGE~
  11. Arigatou
  12. Canvas ni Watashi Dake no Iro wo Nosete

1. Introduction

Is this a My Chemical Romance introduction or a Stereopony because I couldn’t tell at first.  I mean yeah the koto is used in the first parts of the intro but the band joins in and it reminds me of one of MCR’s tunes, “Welcome to the Black Parade” with its introduction.  It’s a weird analogic twist but it’s kind of what it reminds me of.  AIMI does have some lines but it’s filtered out to where I’m not sure what she’s saying.  Interesting intro though.

2. Blowin’ in the wind

As the album’s first song, I was surprised at how much I liked Blowin’ in the wind since the arrangement is pretty forward and has a lot of different hooks and AIMI is singing pretty strongly.  Though the band saying ~blowin een da weend~ is kind of making me laugh.  Still, the song is heavy but not to the point where it takes over.  It’s a fun song to listen to actually.

3. Hana Hiraku Oka

We tone things down a little bit for our next track and this sounds like it would be found somewhere back on “OVER THE BORDER” but at the same time it has the same groove like “Hitohira no Hanabira” had but less rockin’.  It’s nice to have a song like this pretty early on and it sounds like typical good Stereopony so that being said, I liked it!

4. I am a Hero

I really like the fact that Stereopony is trying new things on this album like the first song to include synths and a little bit of auto-tune.  It actually isn’t a lot of the latter (but it’s found in the verses).  It kind of reaches out to the cuter side of the band but I liked this a lot…more than the previous tracks actually. 

5. Tatoeba Utaekunattara

So here we are at Stereopony’s 2nd A-side of the era and collaborative effort with Kariyushi58.  Unlike the previous songs before this, Tatoeba Utaekunattara is quite a soft song and hearing a different voice in Shingo (one of the two guys in Kariyushi58) makes this song stand out.  Since it is one of their more lowkey tunes, I thought it turned out nice and AIMI puts her voice in a better tone than I expected…but Shingo alone is kind of meh here. 

6. Chiisana Mahou

It’s been a while since I’ve heard Chiisana Mahou because I was too busy whoring “It’s a wild world” to remember this one.  Still like the other A-sides it was just nice but nothing that really stuck out my mind because while it was the A-side with a faster arrangement but at the same time felt like it was a bit too straightforward and lacked anything to remember it by. 

7. Bibara Bibara

The sound of a cuckoo clock opening Bibara Bibara was odd for sure…but it leads into an even stranger song to me.  I mean the song gets pretty punk rock for them and there’s some glass breaking but I have to say, it’s been a while since I’ve heard Stereopony having fun with a song and this is definitely that song.  I even hear the other members singing along as well while AIMI is still leading it up.  I have to say I’m loving this song right now!

8. Amaryllis

Back to slowing down with Amaryllis, it’s definitely not like “Tatoeba Utaekunattara” or “Arigatou” since it feels like it has a bit more power behind it’s string background (mixed with the band of course).  To me it’s better than those two, but I think the song didn’t need to be as drammatically as slow as it was xD.  Still it’s actually not a terrible song, it just needed to be a little faster to me.

9. Super Girl

For a title like Super Girl, I was wondering how epic it would be, but I guess the better word is definitely them.  I mean it’s no “Bibara Bibara” and more like their stuff from “Hydrangea ge Saiteiru” which is great that they’re moving back towards.  It actually could pass as a SCANDAL song as well giving the whole atmosphere and background of it.

10. Oshare Banchou 2011 feat. NAOTO from ORANGE RANGE~

As the promotional tune for the album, we get a cover from the band.  Yeah, if you can’t guess the original is from ORANGE RANGE and it’s actually a rather recent song (late 2008 actually).  I haven’t heard the original, but this is definitely not under the normal sound of Stereopony since there’s a lot of synths used in the song and AIMI is kind of not exactly singing the verses.  NAOTO has some lines under AIMI’s talk/speaking which is all kinds of weird.  I love the fact that they’re experimenting now for sure and this song is great!

11. Arigatou

As the third and final A-side released for this album, Arigatou is the group’s ballad song here and for the most part, I still can’t remember it at all.  I do like the simplicity of it all, but AIMI’s vocals to me just do not work here.  It’s a little too breathy and kind of pitchy at some points.  The song does get a little better later on but it’s a pretty lengthy tune at 5:30.  It’s my least favorite on the album but it’s not a surprise to me.

12. Canvas ni Watashi Dake no Iro wo Nosete

Closing the album is another ballad?  After that long one in “Arigatou”, this is just throwing salt in the wound.  I mean it’s the same voice style which kind of doesn’t work but the thing that makes it stand out from the previous song is the stronger chorus.  I really like AIMI’s voice during it and the arrangement has a bit more oomph to it which I loved.  I must say this was great as the closing song to be honest…I actually liked it in the end!

Tracks Recommended

  • Bibara Bibara
  • I am a Hero
  • Oshare Banchou 2011 ~feat. NAOTO from ORANGE RANGE~
  • Canvas ni Watashi Dake no Iro wo Nosete
  • Blowin’ in the wind

Song of Avoidance

  • Arigatou

I must say their 3rd album is definitely their best album yet!  Even though I did come into this album with low expectations with my dislike towards the three A-sides, the album tracks really made up for it for the most part.  I will say that I would’ve loved seeing “It’s a wild world” on here sinec it really would tie in with a lot of the album.  Also, seeing the trio actually opting for some experimention was nice and that’s also what stood out on the album for me.  Great album!

 

Stereopony – Arigatou September 28, 2011

Filed under: Stereopony — solarblade @ 9:30 am

Track Listing

  1. Arigatou
  2. Tsukiakari no Michishirube -Acoustic Ver-
  3. Arigatou -Movie Version-
  4. Arigatou ~Instrumental~
  5. Tsukiakari no Michishirube -Acoustic Ver- ~Instrumental~

1. Arigatou

What’s with Stereopony getting all soft on us?  I can understand their last A-side, but I didn’t expect Arigatou to be even softer!  I must say this is the nicest I’ve ever heard AIMI singing in an A-side for some reason.  It isn’t special in anyway besides being a ballad for the trio, but I still kind of wish there was more to it though. 

2. Tsukiakari no Michishirube -Acoustic Ver-

Hey it’s been a while since we’ve seen an acoustic song of a past track of theirs.  I was hoping we’d get one for Tsukiakari no Michishirube and it came true.  It’s funny how the acoustic guitar just brightens the song into a much positive and happier song lol.  AIMI does sound a bit more stressed in this version and she hits some sour notes (especially in the chorus, which was also a problem in the original for me so it’s no surprise that wasn’t cleaned up).  Fitting version actually and it’s good…but I think the acoustic take of “Namida no Mukou” was better!

3. Arigatou -Movie Ver-

I was wondering why the movie version of Arigatou is a minute and a half shorter than the single version.  I guess they removed a part of the song but it’s not a bad choice but I’d think they’d do a little more with this beyond that. 

 

 

Is it just me or does feel like Stereopony is starting to lose their steam?  Their last single, “Tatoeba Utaekunattara” was alright but a little plain but Arigatou was just kind of boring overall.  I like that the band used strings for the song but I can’t seem to get myself into the song like it but at least they tackled a ballad correctly and AIMI wasn’t terrible singing it.  The movie version, pass it up…nothing remotely interesting here.  As for the acoustic take of Tsukiakari no Michishirube, it’s alright and hearing it in a different light is always good!

 

Stereopony×Kariyushi58 – Tatoeba Utaekunattara August 11, 2011

Filed under: Stereopony — solarblade @ 7:23 pm

Track Listing

  1. Tatoeba Utaekunattara
  2. SHOOTING STAR!
  3. Tatoeba Utaekunattara -AIMI duet Ver-
  4. Tatoeba Utaekunattara -Shingo Maekara due Ver-
  5. Tatoeba Utaekunattara -Instrumental-

1. Tatoeba Utaekunattara

It’s really cool that Stereopony can calm down a little bit after their last few A-sides were pretty rockin’.  Tatoeba Utaekunattara also marks as the group’s first collabortion and it’s with Kariyushi58 who I’m not too familiar with besides the fact that they’re a duo.  I really enjoyed AIMI and Shingo’s vocals especially when they sung together.  Still, it’s a good refreshing slower song for the ladies so I commend them for that ^^

2. SHOOTING STAR!

The actual B-side for the single is Stereopony only and I actually am surprised that it’s also rather tame for the trio since their last single, “Chiisana Mahou” was so upbeat and energetic and SHOOTING STAR! is rather poppy.  AIMI does sound good though so I can’t blame too much for it’s light sound.  Still, I like their last B-sides more!

 

 

As this is Stereopony’s 2nd single of the era, Tatoeba Utaekunattara is a bit lighter than more of their previous releases but overall it’s a solid single.  The collaboration with Kariyushi58 was an interesting choice but it was done pretty well.  SHOOTING STAR! wasn’t I was expecting from the trio, but it was alright.  Can’t wait for the next single.

 

Stereopony – Chiisana Mahou December 7, 2010

Filed under: Stereopony — solarblade @ 8:16 am

Track Listing

  1. Chiisana Mahou
  2. Everything OK!!!
  3. It’s a wild world
  4. Chiisana Mahou -Instrumental-

1. Chiisana Mahou

I think that it’s been a while since we’ve had a good anime song from Stereopony and with them giving us Chiisana Mahou, it made up for the last few singles being somewhat under the weather.  It does remind me a little of “Tsukiakari no Michishirube” but less raw and with AIMI singing a bit cleaner and lighter, it actually made the difference.  It’s a straightforward kind of song, but that’s not always a bad thing in this case.

2. Everything OK!!!

I like the fact that Everything OK!!! lightens up the mood with a more light-hearted arrangement and I like the group is having fun with the song, but it also has an anime-ish flow to it which is more apparant than in “Chiisana Mahou”.  I so love the fact they gave NOHANA a solo in the song with the bass before AIMI rejoins the song…totally epic stuff.  Great B-side.

3. It’s a wild world

I think it’s the first time Stereopony did an English tune for a single, but It’s a wild world is the most energetic song found off the single and I pretty much excited since the song is catchy and full of good riffs.  Even though the English is a little off, it’s still easily understandable and AIMI and NOHANA sound good singing together.  Ok, it’s definitely an exciting tune from them and I could end up fallin for it quickly.

Stereopony really kickstarted their 3rd era on a good note with Chiisana Mahou.  All three songs do show different sides to the trio and it’s great to hear that since their last album…kind of lost the personality trait a bit.  Chiisana Mahou and Everything OK!!! is just anime-ish fun and it’s great to hear those kind of songs from them (since it’s the best stuff they put out).  It’s a wild world though was the single’s biggest surprise since it was a really good English track…hmmm I hope they do more!!

 

Stereopony – OVER THE BORDER June 8, 2010

Filed under: Stereopony — solarblade @ 5:25 pm

Track Listing

  1. OVER THE BORDER
  2. Tsukiakari no Michishirube
  3. Smilife
  4. happy ‘A’
  5. Never Look Back
  6. Tomodachi no Koibito
  7. Mousou Jet
  8. cherry my…
  9. Hanbunko
  10. Hoshikuzu Kandelaar
  11. 100 Pararhythm
  12. OVER DRIVE
  13. Sakine

1. OVER THE BORDER

Opening the album with a bang, OVER THE BORDER does open with a loud boom from the band but it shortly dies down for AIMI’s entrance in the song.  It’s funny how a song like this opens the album because it perfectly sounds like a final song.  AIMI’s vocals are pretty strong like it has been for the era and for the most part is a good song.

2. Tsukiakari no Michishirube

If there was a song that rivals last era’s “Hitohira no Hanabira” and “Namida no Mukou” in epic status, this would be it.  While I wasn’t too big of a fan when it was first released, it quickly became one of my favorites from Stereopony.  It does have that anime background to it, so clearly it means it has a pretty straightfoward hook and that’s what caught me in its grasp.  DAMN YOU GIRLS!!!  Amazing tune here.

3. Smilife

Which is difficult to listen to this song because this was an early favorite in the era (hell, it was the first A-side of the era).  Smilife  was the first happy A-side and the enjoyment coming from the girls emanate is pretty wicked.  AIMI’s vocals arent as interesting as it was in the last track, but still passable.

4. happy ‘A’

I guess with the happiness, comes our next new track.  While I’ve never been fully into their peppier stuff because AIMI takes her vocals in the uber cute side and that doesn’t really work for me.  I don’t know why but this song feels so not finished and somewhat sloppy for me.

5. Never Look Back

I actually love the guitar hook for our next song and Never Look Back sounded pretty kickass from the girls.  It’s sung pretty quickly and AIMI is pushing her limits throughout the song but I did love the energy of the song a lot more.  It might be 3:24, but it feels like it goes faster because of the relentless hooks found throughout the song.

6. Tomodachi no Koibito

Our first actual “slow” song off the album, Tomodachi no Koibito also brings in the violin into the song which is a good idea, but the rather empty arrangement in the verses didn’t make AIMI sound that good…it’s only when NOHANA and SHIHO appear to make the song pop out a little more.  For a ballad, it wasn’t exactly bad, but they could’ve done some fine-tuning.

7. Mousou Jet

Getting back to some fun songs, Mousou Jet is what Stereopony should go for because this song is lively and great to listen to.  I mean yeah the darker Stereopony is nice, but Mousou Jet is how light I’d want them to go.  So many strong guitar hooks from AIMI.  The other gals show off too so it’s great all-around.  However, I can’t defend that scream near the final chorus…

8. cherry my…

As the only B-side of the album (coming from “Hanbunko”), cherry my… was a great choice to have added on the album since it was the best the single had to offer.  I like their serious stuff as I said and cherry my… showed that off pretty nicely since it sounds like one of those songs that tell you to move on.  Funny how it’s one of the best songs on the album to be honest.

9. Hanbunko

I guess it’s not surprising they’d place the 3rd A-side right after it’s corresponding B-side.  It sort of reminds me of “Never Look Back” with the quick paced vocals coming from AIMI, but it sounds somewhat boring when she’s speeding across the song like it’s nothing.  I’ll admit that I did enjoy this song as well, but “cherry my…” to me is still a smidge better.  It’s still pretty good though.

10. Hoshikuzu Kandelaar

Out of all the new tracks, Hoshikuzu Kandelaar is probably my favorite amongst them because it’s the right amound ot poppyness and rock just like “Tsukiakari no Michishirube” but this one went the opposite direction and it more happier.  There’s even a small auto-tune part with AIMI XD  It’s simple but that’s why I like it alot.

11. 100 Pararhythm

I’m not sure what to make of 100 Pararhythm because it’s just lowkey and sounds way westernized.  Though it’s clearly more focused on being a catchy song that sounds better when ur drunk or something because I get that feeling with this tune.  Not really a memorable tune, but I guess it has its positives.  Totally, seems fillerish.

12. OVER DRIVE

Of the singles released, I think I was least impressed with OVER DRIVE.  It still reminds me of “Smilife”, but perhaps a little more serious than said song.  Though I think vocally it’s kind of meh when compared to the other singles in the era.  Some parts are pretty coo, but I kind of think it’s just a single rushed so hahaha oh well.

13. Sakine

Why is Sakine almost 13 minutes long???  The final song off the album calms things down again and for most of it, it’s led by acoustic guitar played by AIMI and she sounds nice but kind of scratches once in a while.  It’s a pretty soothing song to listen to and the added strings once again gave the song color so that’s good…but…

Once the song ends we get almost 8 minutes of silence before we get an untitled acoustic tune.  I’m surprised at AIMI’s singing in the song since it’s nice.  It’s still rather kind of random and I think was sung live, if I’m not mistaken. 

Tracks Recommended

  • Tsukiakari no Michishirube
  • Hoshikuzu Kandelaar
  • cherry my…
  • Never Look Back

Song of Avoidance

  • happy ‘A’

Stereopony’s sophomore album barely is better than “Hydrangea ga Saiteiru”.  The thing is that the singles for the most part own the album tracks and the new songs really didn’t stretch anything new this time.  I was surprised there was a lack of really hard tracks like some of those interludes in their previous album.  I guess it’s alright for right now…