Kurayami Monogatari

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Sweet Vacation – Goodie Goodie May 15, 2011

Filed under: Sweet Vacation — solarblade @ 1:18 am

Track Listing

  1. Goodie Goodie
  2. Trick or Treat
  3. Sexy Girl

1. Goodie Goodie

Yeah I’m going backwards but I wanted to review this xD.  Anyways Goodie Goodie is the leading track off the single and the only tune to make the album cut on “Re; Miraiha Sengen” and oddly enough I still pretty much enjoy this song.  Of course Daichi opens the song under heavy filters but that’s ok since he’s always under that.  I really do like the arrangement since it’s heavier than a lot of stuff from their first album.  May sounds good too and gives a futuristic sound to mesh with the music.

2. Trick or Treat

The B-sides are only found here and I was kind of surprised neither songs made the album’s cut.  Trick or Treat might sound like it would be Halloween-ish, but it kind of isn’t.  The arrangement is a bit empty in places but I like that guitar has a bit more importance than in “Goodie Goodie”.  After a while the song does get pretty annoying with the robotic chorus May’s singing and she’s even further filtered for the track as well so it’s a bit meh for me.

3. Sexy Girl

Rounding out the single, Sexy Girl is a little bit surprising since it feels like it took what made the previous two tracks great and mixed them together.  May isn’t as filtered as she was in “Trick or Treat” and that’s good and I love the almost New Wave feel I get when listening to the song.  Best song on the single for sure!

Despite this being a rental single from TSUTAYA, The only “literal” single released prior to “Re; Miraiha Sengen”, Goodie Goodie wasn’t that bad of a single TBH.  The A-side was quite good and still is good even after the album’s release.  Trick or Treat was my least favorite on the single, but that’s because May was way too filtered for comfort.  Last but not least, Sexy Girl was quite epic and I’m sad it didn’t make it on the album…sad right?  Still why did it have to be a rental single? XD

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Sweet Vacation – Re; Miraiha Sengen July 15, 2010

Filed under: Sweet Vacation — solarblade @ 6:02 am

Track Listing

  1. Futurhythm
  2. Goodie Goodie
  3. Love Message ~Sekai ga Koisuru Message~
  4. TOKYO DAYS
  5. re-boot
  6. Sayonara Bye Bye
  7. Tic tac
  8. Unbalanced
  9. heaven’s discotheque
  10. Love Camera retweet
  11. I Feel So Good More (★STAR GUiTAR RMX)
  12. Sweet Vacation Radio Special Vol. 4 (bonus track)

1. Futurhythm

Opening the album, Futurhythm begins a new a better electro-pop style of the duo and thank god because their last album was pretty safe.  I mean already Daichi has an important part opening here, even though his vocals are quite synthed and May as well but she’s not the most important part of the song which is pretty cool.  The arrangement is a bit mid-tempo but the synth work is quite exciting and sounds like someone is traveling.

2. Goodie Goodie

Released as a TSUTAYA rental before the album’s release, Goodie Goodie, is actually really nice coming from Sweet Vacation because the arrangement is a bit more harder and features more grittier synths and guitars together.  I thought May did a great job singing the song quite strongly and since the music was good I have to say it was a pretty good song to promote the album.

3. Love Message ~Sekai ga Koisuru Message~

I thought with Love Message it was like deja vu to “Ai ni Ikou” for some reason, it might’ve been that same happy upbeat feel or the fact Daichi has the entrance before May comes and takes over.  I can see that the music from the group has become a bit more progressive and taking more risks and while Love Message doesn’t show it, it’s true that its got more passion and effort put towards it.

4. TOKYO DAYS

Like I said, I’m liking the use of guitar into their electro-pop arrangements and TOKYO DAYS is definitely one of my favorites from the album because it’s catchy and has a real chill and yet fast sound to it.  The chorus might sound like a few other songs they’ve done, but why change something that sounds good eh? 

5. re-boot

As the first interlude on the album (3 seconds shorter than “Futurhythm”, oddly enough), re-boot is definitely like paying an homage to Daft Punk since the music is so them in the “Discovery” era.  It’s like a mix of electro-pop and jazz put together and I praise Daichi for getting a song like this put out.  Anyways, it’s considered an extended interlude because May isn’t present and the only true music is the saxophone solo going on.  Interesting little tune nonetheless

6. Sayonara Bye Bye

I kind of like this song too since Sweet Vacation for a more classy tune with Sayonara Bye Bye which has no relation to “Sayonara my days”.  The thing that stood out about this song was both the use of plucked strings and May’s vocals having a bit more auto-tune than normal.  Besides that I think this song would’ve fit on their debut album more.

7. Tic tac

Omg, the opening for Tic tac is so darn cute to listen to.  I found it weird that there’s strings and the auto-tune usage here as well, but the song seems to have less involvement to sound full.  Basically, it’s trying to be the cute song here and the bouncy arrangement is nice to lsiten to, but I’m paying attention to that more than May’s singing.  I will be nice and say the ~tic tac~ part was cool!

8. Unbalanced

Are getting into disco now?  I thought this showed a bit more color from May and she sounds kind of cool and sexy, but with the guitar riff going, it’s very fitting.  I thought here it was more of trying to be coy and sly and to me it’s pretty nifty and stands out on the album on a good note.

9. heaven’s discotheque

“Unbalanced” was the start of the disco-type songs and heaven’s discotheque sounds like what happened if “Unbalanced” had a little more stuff going and a heavier beat.  I’m not sure why but I just think that it worked better since the two are in the same style and such.  I’ll take “Unbalanced” though.

10. Love Camera retweet

As the main finisher, Love Camera retweet is such a strange interlude/ending tune because it’s starts off kind of static-y and such and then this piano melody of I thin is “Love Message ~Sekai ga Koisuru Message” if I remember correctly.  Not the most interesting song to finish up the album.

11. I Feel So Good More (★STAR GUiTAR RMX)

I think the fact the album ends with a new version of “I Feel So Good”, one of their oldest songs they did worked nicely because that closer was just meh so I thought it was great they had a remix.  Anywho, the remix is definitely different from all the other songs but the closest song is prolly “Goodie Goodie” because of the higher electro sound featured.  Yes, it’s more techno as well, but I thought it was nice…but I think there should’ve been more power to it, but it’s good otherwise.

12. Sweet Vacation Radio Special Vol. 4

On the iTunes version of the album it comes with this which isn’t terribly important to the album which is May and Daichi talking (probably about the album of course).  Nothing that I’m going to sit through TBH.

Tracks Recommended

  • TOKYO DAYS
  • Goodie Goodie
  • Unbalanced
  • re-boot
  • Futurhythm

Song of Avoidance

  • Tic tac

What is up with the lower known electro acts getting better albums this year?  Re; Miraiha Sengen is definitely an upgrade from their first album “pop saves the world!!” simply because the effort from both Daichi and May was more believable in their music.  Although the album is shorter, they took the “quality over quantity” phrase to heart this time around and it worked!

 

Sweet Vacation – Cover the Vacation!! January 23, 2010

Filed under: Sweet Vacation — solarblade @ 12:34 pm

Track Listing

  1. BECAUSE OF YOU
  2. Ghostbusters
  3. BEHIND THIS MASK
  4. WALK THIS WAY
  5. KIDS
  6. Suddenly I See
  7. Sweet Child O’Mine
  8. The Goonies “r” Good Enough (SEXY-SYNTHESIZER REMIX) (bonus track)

1. BECAUSE OF YOU

Yes, we begin this cover album with the Ne-yo cover found back on the “Ai ni Ikou” single.  It’s definitely taking the original R&B and twisting it into electropop which might sound strange, but there’s no trace of the original genre in the song.  Now, May taking over a song that’s originally sung by a guy makes this an awkward cover, but it’s not too bad and there’s some edginess shown here.

2. Ghostbusters

Oh boy, we have a cover of the Ghostbusters theme?  Not that I wasn’t shocked by this becuase I was, but I was surprised that there was more electric guitar and a harder punch to their music, as well as May’s better sounding English.  All of these positives really helped me getting through this song because it’s kind of catchy.  You still hear the originals riffs marks, so it’s remains somewhat faithful.

3. BEHIND THE MASK

So I guess BEHIND THE MASK is a cover of Yellow Magic Orchestra’s instrumental, so everything else in the song is actually new from Sweet Vacation.  I thought this was pretty interesting because we hear both May and Daichi together in the song.  I really like the synth riffs and especially the opening because it’s just catchy.  It might be vocally empty, so I guess we can say this is more a Daichi tune than a May track.  It’s still pretty impressive.

4. WALK THIS WAY

I find it funny that SV would actually try to cover Aerosmith’s famous track, WALK THIS WAY.  At least they’re bringing some guitar and deep synths with this song.  They also seemed to slow the arrangement down because well, I think May would sound even worse than she does here.  I’m sorry, for as much as I’ve grown up with this song in particular, SV’s actually sucks IMHO.

5. KIDS

At least there’s a cover of MGMT on this cover album.  I’ve gotten to love MGMT’s quite a lot so hearing this right after such a bad cover was kind of leaving me wondering what I’d get, but they’ve kept it safer in this song.  It doesn’t have that sharp tongue MGMT’s does, but May does an alright job trying to be good at it. 

6. Suddenly I See

We get a track off of their first single, “Sayonara my days” and is also a cover of KT Tunstall’s big hit.  I’m still not fully into this song because May just doesn’t give a very exciting performance and just made the cover seem overall lackluster. 

7. Sweet Child O’Mine

Weird that we actually got a Guns n’ Roses cover on this album as well, and guessing by the last rock to electropop move, I’m guessing this song will be just as awkward, plus this also came off their “I miss you -EP-“.  To be honest, it’s not that bad of a cover which is definitely a good thing.  It might not have the same punch as the original, but it’s kind of catchy.

8. The Goonies “r” Good Enough (SEXY-SYNTHESIZER REMIX)

I was definitely loving SEXY-SYNTHESIZER for what they did to “Katamari On the Swing”, so clearly I was hoping to hear more and luckily we do.  Just like in the last thing they remixed, the song uses a more 8bit arrangement for the song and I really like this again.  I honestly don’t remember the original Cyndi Lauper track, but this is kind of cool from SV.

Tracks Recommended

  • BEHIND THE MASK
  • Ghostbusters
  • The Goonies “r” Good Enough (SEXY-SYNTHESIZER REMIX)

Song of Avoidance

  • WALK THIS WAY

While we’re not surprised that Sweet Vacation would pull off a cover album, most of it was alright, but there’s a few tracks that I would’ve left alone.  It’s alright and SV is somewhat getting more aggressive to their music, but I wouldn’t say it’s a big enough gap from “pop saves the world!!”

 

Sweet Vacation – pop save the world!! August 6, 2009

Filed under: Sweet Vacation — solarblade @ 7:10 am

popgoestheworld

Track Listing

  1. sexy girl returns ~intro~
  2. why don’t you
  3. Ai ni Ikou ~I・NEED・TO・GO~ AL Ver.
  4. Kirameki Jet!
  5. Sayonara my days
  6. Long Vacation ~interlude~
  7. Magical Mystery Tour
  8. Life is MiRACLE
  9. Brandnew Wave
  10. Shooting Star
  11. 8bit Darling
  12. Escape!!
  13. I miss you ~Yume de Aetara~
  14. believe in, pop’ll save the world ~postlude~

1. sexy girl returns ~intro~

I really like how aggressive Sweet Vacation opens up the album with sexy girl returns.  The first thing that came into mind was that it was more of a remix than anything else.  May does come in with a vocal line, little repetitive, but was saved by the sudden change of beat and it went smooth.  Then all of a sudden May comes in with what I consider the chorus of the track and it’s damn catchy.  Nice opening.

2. why don’t you

The opening flows real smoothly into our first new track and that’s always a good thing.  I’m liking the fact that both May and Daichi have their own solo parts in the verses.  The music is a bit less aggressive than the opener, but despite that, there’s some pretty good parts to it.  I also have to admit though Daichi was pretty good here and I wonder if the rest of the album will include more of him.

3. Ai ni Ikou ~I・NEED・TO・GO~ AL Ver.

We get an album version of Ai ni Ikou next and compared to the single version, this is 10 seconds shorter.  What it really means is that the track doesn’t fade away until the sound goes away.  The album version has a finishing point, other than that this is the same track with nothing new.  It still is a pretty catchy track, I’ll give you that and Daichi is sweet here again.  Probably one of the best tracks they’ve released.

4. Kirameki Jet!

Having a deeper beat and having a stronger presence of piano, Kirameki Jet! does feel a little emptier arrangement wise.  Once the bridge begins though, it feels like totally different feeling than “Ai ni Ikou” and I kind of like the free-sounding feel of the chorus as well.  I love May’s mix of Japanese and English and her singing was pretty good here.

5. Sayonara my days

The first A-side of the era, Sayonara my days does feel like “Kirameki Jet!”.  Unlike that, the song to me still feels a little bit boring and doesn’t have the spark that the previous tracks had.  It doesn’t help that the PV had “ONE” written all over it.  Still a weak track even after the transition to the album.

6. Long Vacation ~interlude~

The sound of waves crashing begin our interlude of the album.  After that passes that repeating synth line pops in and some other underlying synths come in to play for awhile.  Even though this is all Daichi with no vocals, I thought this was a great interlude, though when it peaks the music dies off and the waves return to finish it off. 

7. Magical Mystery Tour

Yeah, this track is a cover of a pretty famous Beatles’ tune.  Usually, artists that cover songs by huge bands always don’t get near the original at all.  That being said, Sweet Vacation’s cover of the track isn’t too bad with it’s chiller synthpop sound.  I guess it’s nice that it isn’t too much and kind of sets the mood pretty nicely.  Alright cover I guess.

8. Life is MiRACLE

I’m starting to notice that since the interlude happened the overall mood of the songs have changed into more of a reserved synthpop sound.  Like almost lounge music actually.  May’s vocals in Life is MiRACLE is pretty soothing and with the piano playing in front, this is a pretty nice.  There’s even some xylophone mixed in and that made me love the song even more.

9. Brandnew Wave

Then we finally return to the synthpop sound that we’ve come to know from the earlier part of the album.  At first I thought it was going to be more forward on the arrangement, but it seems just like a filler track in place because it does sound somewhat like “Sayonara my days”.  Other than that, it’s not too bad, just a bit meh.

10. Shooting Star

Shooting Star though was the track I was thinking of.  Other than the fact it has a bit of 8-bit written in the arrangement, the song has a bit more sound going for it and I quite like it.  Daichi though won with the arrangement as it’s somewhat ethereal and a bit of synthpop written into it as well.  I’m notice the lyrics are a bit cutesy as she says ~jellybeans~ and ~ice cream~ in the chorus.  Pretty good song.

11. 8bit Darling

Ahhh…Right from the start, 8bit Darling definitely has a heavier tone right from the start and May’s vocals are a bit under the vocoder which is interesting.  The arrangement definitely feels like something that came straight from a video game and I liked it alot.  Even the chorus where piano is added seemed to fit just right.  It’s giddy pop music at its best here.

12. Escape!!

I didn’t think Sweet Vacation was going to get more cooler, but Escape!! has a pretty prominent guitar driven sound mixed in with the synths.  May sounds pretty awesome and I love how at the end of the verse when he voice goes into auto-tune.  I still think their harder stuff is still too reserved, but at least they’re trying and this track shows potential.

13. I miss you ~Yume de Aetara~

This is actually their earliest released track of the era (means get to review the EP).  I miss you at first sounded like a “Sayonara my days” clone, but with Daichi singing in parts of the song and a more smoother sound, I preferred this over their first A-side.  It still might be a little too much like other similar sounding tracks, but it’s catchy.

14. believe in, pop’ll save the world ~postlude~

Sweet Vacation’s debut album comes to a close with Daichi having a piano solo all to himself.  I’m pretty sure he’s playing the melody to one of the songs off the album, but for me that’ll take me a while to figure out.  Short and sweet is the way to finish the album.  It turns out though that the tune Daichi was playing was “why don’t you” in the chorus area (thx Selly).

Tracks Recommended

  • 8bit Darling
  • Shooting Star
  • Ai ni Ikou ~I・NEED・TO・GO~ AL Ver.
  • I miss you ~Yume de Aetara~
  • Life is MiRACLE

Song of Avoidance

  • Sayonara my days

Sweet Vacation’s album is actually pretty nice.  I mean they don’t take risks like other technopop artists, but what they gave out is actually pretty nice otherwise.  Some of the tracks do feel like not enough things happened and on the other hand some songs are just too darn catchy.  I do expect some more Daichi in their upcoming releases, but this album is a good start for the duo. 

 

Sweet Vacation – Ai ni Ikou ~I・NEED・TO・GO~ July 8, 2009

Filed under: Sweet Vacation — solarblade @ 4:59 am

Track Listing

  1. Ai ni Ikou ~I・NEED・TO・GO~
  2. Because Of You
  3. Summer Day (DJ TARO “hbs” Remix)

1. Ai ni Ikou ~I・NEED・TO・GO~

I gotta say, Sweet Vacation definitely got into a more stronger sound for their next A-side and Ai ni Ikou if one of those songs that sounds good and actually sounds like something from the 80’s.  May still doesn’t sound right in the song, but the cuteness in her voice won me over in the song and the chorus is like so catchy…I’m pretty sure Daichi even has a few lines in the song.  Ai ni Ikou is a stronger track than “Sayonara my days”

2. Because Of You

Sweet Vacation is well-known for their many covers and we have a NE-YO track that’s being covered and took the R&B and gave it a techno twist and oddly enough it’s not that bad, but since the song was originally a male sung track, hearing May take this is quite something.  I like it, but it doesn’t have the sexy feel to it that the original had.  Maybe they should’ve covered “Sexy Love”.

3. Summer Day (DJ TARO “hbs” Remix)

I’m guessing this was a track of theirs in one of their last eras.  Summer Day here sounds more easier to listen to with it’s bouncier rhythms and feelgood sound.  I can actually hear the summery side of the track as well and I love it.   This actually sounds something along the lines of what Perfume would’ve done.

 

 

Sweet Vacation’s 2nd and final single of the era, totally pwns their last single for sure.  Ai ni Ikou has a great sound to it and it’s quite catchy, especially in the chorus.  Their NE-YO cover was also nice though, I still have problems getting the fact that a girl is covering a male’s part in the song….so odd.  Summer Day was a bit Perfume and the ending really gave the single closure.  Sweet single.

 

Sweet Vacation – Sayonara my days March 8, 2009

Filed under: Sweet Vacation — solarblade @ 8:23 am
Tags: , ,

sayonara-my-days

Track Listing

  1. Sayonara my days
  2. Calling You
  3. Suddenly I See
  4. I miss you (FREEDOMBUNCH CLUB EXTENDED MIX)

1. Sayonara my days

I’m not sure what to think about this track.  Like I know it’s J-tek but it seems they aren’t really showing off their skills as much as they did before going on a major label.  It’s cool that there’s strings and piano mixed with the synthy beat and how May is under light vocoder.  Other than that, there isn’t much to call it special.  It’s an OK track.  The solo section though was cool.  BTW, why is some of the PV copying Ami’s “ONE”….seriously…how many artists has it been?

2. Calling You

Calling You has a more happier tone.  There’s less synths, but they’re still there, but that’s besides the point.  I can also hear Daichi singing along in the chorus.  (Well, I did in the last track as well).  Calling You though is still somewhat on the safe side of J-tek so it’s not too memorable.

3. Suddenly I See

I can’t believe they cover tracks well and covering KT Tunstall was definitly a good choice.  I love the original because it was spunky and had attitude.  Sadly, May doesn’t really give off the right kind of attitide, especially in the ~why the hell it means so much to me~ section.  It was cool to hear May in English because she’s got a good grasp on our language. Good track.

4. I miss you (FREEDOMBUNCH EXTENDED CLUB MIX)

I miss you was a track off their 1st major EP.  I haven’t heard the original to make a connection but it’s a long track.  It’s almost 8 minutes in length and is for being a remix this actually was just a bit repetitive for me.  I don’t why, but it isn’t until the actual track starts up that things get better.  I love the heavy vocoder part and synth melody.  Maybe they could’ve left off that long startup, but this was pretty cool.

 

 

Sweet Vacation’s debut single was very meh to me.  Both original tracks were just missin something in each of it.  The cover song was very likeable and had me dancing.  Same thing with the remix.  I love the synths in that song.