Kurayami Monogatari

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Suneohair – slow dance October 30, 2012

Filed under: Suneohair — solarblade @ 11:41 pm

Track Listing

  1. slow dance
  2. Universe
  3. Squall
  4. Taka no Sora ~Ruterute Bozu~ (bonus track)

1. slow dance

For a song that’s titled slow dance, it sure doesn’t feel slow at all hahah.  Actually it kind of reminds me of “Akai Coat” with its straightforward arrangement and Kenji’s soft vocals.  It’s not the most intriguing song Kenji has done since I’ve started reviewing him, but it’s solid so it’s not a big loss I guess…

2. Universe

Moving into the B-sides, the intro for Universe is something different for me since it sounds a little darker than Kenji’s more uplifting and fun songs.  Kenji himself sounds a little different than normal as well which is a nice change, I think he’s on some filter but not much.  It’s catchy and I really like how he dealt with the song…one of his better tracks to date!

3. Squall

Kenji brings the instrumentation back up to a good and peppy feel but also keeps the the interesting lyrics intact.  I really love the verses since they’re so airy and smooth while the chorus is louder and has more of a punch.  I really found myself loving this song a lot (though Kenji could’ve sound less mechanical in the chorus).  Another great song on the single!

4. Taka no Sora ~Ruterute Bozu~

Interesting to see Kenji have a bonus track on the single and it looks like it’s a song he did with idep (familiar name, but I’m not sure where I’ve heard his name elsewhere).  Though unlike the rest of the single, it sounds pretty much experimental pop since it’s got synths and a lot of piano.  Kenji’s low vocals kind of sound cool behind all the weird knickknacks of the arrangement.  It’s pretty charming to say the least and it can be pretty good when it wants to be, but idep might have overdone his skills here.

 

 

It’s been a while since we’ve heard Kenji so it’s nice he came back with slow dance.  The main track isn’t something that we haven’t heard before from him so it’s a tad bland, but he made up with all the B-sides.  Universe was a sweet pop/rock track from him, Squall too a little more experimentation which was also nice to hear and Taka no Sora was purely charming…I can’t wait for his next single!

 

Suneohair – Suneohair September 9, 2011

Filed under: Suneohair — solarblade @ 8:13 am

Track Listing

  1. Kitai Hazure no Soramoyou
  2. Egao no Kazu
  3. Sakasama Bridge
  4. Kuusou Shimasu
  5. Katei ni Hairou
  6. Danran
  7. Shabon
  8. Akai Coat
  9. Nemuri ni Tsuku Koro
  10. Himitsu
  11. Sarari
  12. Ii Desho

1. Kitai Hazure no Soramoyou

Opening the album, Kitai Hazure no Soramoyou opens up with Kenji’s acoustic guitar playing and some synths playing around in the background.  To me the first song usually gives off the vibe of the album and it kind of did that because most of the album will have Kenji and acoustic guitar in some way.  After a while, this song kind of just becomes background music to me.  I will say the slower parts and his solo were pretty good though!

2. Egao no Kazu

Our next song is a bit lighter but still in the same vein as the previous song which is good and all I guess.  Kenji sounds a little more into the song and I love the chorus where it’s in English and it sounds pretty clear to my ears.  It might be repetitive there, but it’s really cute (at least I’d call it that).  I actually liked this for being mid-tempo and a little repetitive.

3. Sakasama Bridge

Being the lead track off the first mini he released for the era, Sakasama Bridge is one of the few songs on the album with electric guitar (I think).  I still love the fact that is has a lot of energy where a good portion of these songs lack but at the same time…it’s been out long enough for me to enjoy as well.  Though I will say that after a while I remember the melody of the arrangement more than what Kenji was singing…he kind of was static noise for me here lol…but I still liked it when I paid attention to him.

4. Kuusou Shimasu

I guess we needed to cool off after the last track and Kuusou Shimasu does the job well enough.  I do think that the low vibe and mysterious mood sounds great at first but later on in the song it kind of fades into the background and I somehow lose interest in it.  Ehhh so much for that I guess.

5. Katei ni Hairou

Don’t ask me who is singing with Kenji in this song but I know it’s a lady!!!  It sounds really uncharacteristic on the album since it’s leaning towards more of a cute and kiddy feel since it the two artists singing together.  I like both vocals in the song and while it’s the oddball song on the album, it was one of the bests offered.

6. Danran

Back into mid-tempo land with Danran, I once again find myself wondering who the backup vocals are once again since it’s definitely not Kenji!  I liked this song as well since it was light and fluffy and Kenji kept things going at a good pace.  Bouncy too…yeah this was a nice song.

7. Shabon

Ehhhh, I can’t say the same for Shabon.  Unlike the last track, this is pretty much a ballad from him.  It’s nice since there’s strings and piano mixed in with Kenji’s playing which made it sound strong…but damn was it boring.  The thing that I don’t like about Kenji is that songs like this really drive in the sleep factor because he does have a sleepy tone to his voice which bothers me.

8. Akai Coat

After a long dosage of new tracks we come back in with Akai Coat which was the main song off his second mini-album (I still think they’re singles).  For some reason, I really love this song.  I mean it’s pretty catchy, Kenji has energy and there’s great melodies going on in the song.  I still think the middle part where the song drastically changes for a little bit for Kenji to sing his falsetto part was so good!  It still remains as my favorite song from Kenji right now.

9. Nemuri ni Tsuku Koro

I thought it was smart to put “Akai Coat” in between this song and “Shabon” since they’re both ballads and really instill a sense of sleep which is not good if they were put back to back.  I will say that Kenji did a much better job keeping me interested with his singing which went from his normal sleepy tone to some high notes.  Better than “Shabon” but not by too much.

10. Himitsu

Ah, the sounds of nightlife opening up Himitsu is really how I felt after listening to “Nemuri ni Tsuku Koro”.  At least this song is brighter and not so much a ballad.  The song doesn’t really have climaxes which wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t for Kenji’s lack of emotion towards the song.  Not bad though when you consider some of the other tunes.

11. Sarari

I’m so happy that out of the 6 other songs from the minis to choose from, he chose the best one IMO with Sarari.  This song actually feels like he caught the season of winter nicely with a light arrangement that includes strings and synths.  It just moves so nicely and Kenji fits the mood of the song like a glove.  Yeah if it wasn’t for “Akai Coat”, I’d would’ve said this is my favorite.

12. Ii Desho

Closing the album, Ii Desho at first sounded like it was in poor quality with the guitar opening like that.  Sadly, the song is a bit draggy and has this sluggish feel to it and as much as I know Kenji is trying to keep the song alive, it just doesn’t work and falls flat.  I mean I guess it works as a closer, but it’s just purely boring…

Tracks Recommended

  • Akai Coat
  • Sarari
  • Katei ni Hairou
  • Egao no Kazu
  • Danran

Song of Avoidance

  • Ii Desho

If you’re a fan of soft guitar pop/rock, Suneohair’s self-titled album might be your thing.  For me, it was hit or mess for me with this album.  Since it’s my first full album from him all I’ve got was that while the arrangements are interesting…Kenji sometimes makes it hard to keep awake for…but the upbeat songs are worth the listen at least.  I’d say give it a try maybe there’s something for everyone here.

 

Suneohair – Sakasama Bridge August 27, 2011

Filed under: Suneohair — solarblade @ 7:13 pm

Track Listing

  1. Sakasama Bridge
  2. Tokimeki Schneider
  3. kimiga suki
  4. Sarari

1. Sakasama Bridge

Even though I got into Kenji with his next-mini, I was actually surprised at the difference of moods between the two main songs.  Sakasama Bridge has more of a rockin’ feel to it that fits into anime…then again it was tied into Arakawa Under the Bridge so it fits just right.  I must say while I still enjoy “Akai Coat” on a higher margin, this was nice and Kenji does a good job singing with a harder arrangement.

2. Tokimeki Schneider

Which carries over to the second song of this “mini-album” and it  sounds a lot more interesting to hear the guitar riff since it is kind of catchy.  After a while it does feel a little one-sided and Kenji does kind of sounds like he’s just singing out of boredom which is a farcry from the verses here…Such a boring chorus too…ok maybe it isn’t as good as “Sakasama Bridge”…

3. kimiga suki

Unlike the previous two songs, kimiga suki is more slow-paced and has a little more focus with lighter guitars.  I could’ve lived without the loud drumming that kind of felt louder than Kenji’s singing which slightly took me out of the song but I like the whole calm western feel to it.  Middle of the song does feel a little sketchy but not bad.

4. Sarari

It’s nice to hear strings and a little bit of synths involved with the last track on the mini!  Now this song is more along of what I’d enjoy since it’s got a nice leaned back chilled sound but carries itself similarly to “kimiga suki” but without the strange stuff going on in that song.  This is probably my favorite off the mini.

 

 

Since this is Kenji’s first release on EPIC Records, Sakasama Bridge is slightly better than his “Akai Coat” mini since this time two songs felt great to listen to (Sakasama Bridge and Sarari, which are fortunately on the album!).  The other two songs felt a lot weaker and just lacked interest from Kenji….especially Tokimeki Schneider.  I wonder what the album will be pulled off.

 

Suneohair – Akai Coat December 22, 2010

Filed under: Suneohair — solarblade @ 7:11 am

Track Listing

  1. Akai Coat
  2. Walk and Joy
  3. Beep Yeah
  4. Email Shite

1. Akai Coat

Being as it’s Kenji Watanabe’s Wintry song, Akai Coat is more or less anything different from his past acoustic works, but it’s actually quite nice to listen to because it also has this anime-ish feel to it that I kind of enjoyed about it despite no tie-in to such a thing.  I really like Kenji’s vocals in the song as they sound not as deep as I thought it was when I first listened in.  The best part is that middle part where his voice kind of goes higher than I expected and the song gets more peppier.  I actually enjoy this song quite a bit!

2. Walk and Joy

Getting into our next song, Walk and Joy slows down quite a bit after the eccentric “Akai Coat”.  These kind of songs kind of bore me here since it’s more of a mid-tempo pop/rock song.  Add to that, Kenji is kind of singing in a rather boring way so it kind of just phases me out for a bit.  Even with the 5:35 time, it’s going to be a long listen.

3. Beep Yeah

Then again the next song has the same length, but Beep Yeah has a more interesting vibe going than in “Walk & Joy”.  I really like Kenji’s vocals a tad bit more though since there’s some life going on in it, but it’s still not as the peppier tone from the first track.  I mean it sounds pretty good and when we do get to the chorus, it does become louder and more interesting.  The only thing that caught me off guard was the whole ~ra-ra-ra-ra-ra~ ordeal.  Other than that, great song.

4. Email Shite

And ending the mini-album with the longest track found, Email Shite sounds like a mix of “Akai Coat” and “Beep Yeah” since it’s like upbeat, but at the same time sounds quite serious.  Kenji’s vocals of course sounds relaxed and yet cool, but he takes a lot of time to get into lyrics since there’s a lot of music/space moments which is kind of strange but whatever.  It’s alright, but probably a little too long.

I don’t know why Kenji made this a mini-album when it’s a single for sure but whatever.  Akai Coat at first started out great with the lead song, but the rest of the songs kind of had their own issues going on but whatever XD.  I think it’s an alright release though so no worries I guess.