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TOKYO GIRLS’ STYLE – Mille-feuille December 3, 2016

Filed under: TOKYO GIRLS' STYLE — solarblade @ 11:51 pm

millefeuille

Track Listing

  1. Mille-feuille
  2. Partition Love -MODEWARP Mix-
  3. Mille-feuille -Royal Mirrorball Mix- (CD only)
  4. Mille-feuille (Instrumental)
  5. Partition Love -MODEWARP Mix- (Instrumental)

1. Mille-feuille

It seems that TOKYO GIRLS’ STYLE is trying to pull away from their funk/discotheque tracks of the past and creating new paths in their musical styles.  Mille-feuille does have a smidge of that EDM sound that we had got with “Never ever” but it doesn’t go quite as hard as said song did.  I get a feeling of the group going cute with the song and a bit more poppy than songs previous.  If this is the new direction they’re going to take, I’m quite for it as it breathes new life to the quartet!

2. Partition Love -MODEWARP Mix-

Hmmm, though it feels like they went back and made a remix for Partition Love (an A-side released a little over 2 years ago).  Anyways, this new remix for the song to me doesn’t really strike quite as strong as the original arrangement.  I do like the beats with the strings giving it a classier vibe to it, it’s definitely one of their better remixes though as it really pushes the vocal melodies to the front.  Not bad, not bad!

3. Mille-feuille -Royal Mirrorball Mix-

Of course we have that ONE track that only appears on a specific edition of the single.  Though for the same expectations we have another RM remix to add to the HUGE collection.  Now, if you’ve been one to love their funky arrangements, Mille-feuille fills the gap and I like the amount of bass sprinkled through and not so much brass.  It does feel a bit slower than the original, but if this was chosen to be the main arrangement, I would’ve been OK with it.

While I did feel like “Shinkai” had very little fanfare on its release, I do think Mille-feuille did a pretty awesome job capturing my interest to the group.  The main song is cute, yet upbeat and quite differenet from what we’re used to from the quartet.  Even the remix managed to be decent enough to stand out from past remixes.  Add on the Partition Love remix and its a pretty good single, can’t wait to see what’s next from them after the single.

 

TOKYO GIRLS’ STYLE – Shinkai September 10, 2016

Filed under: TOKYO GIRLS' STYLE — solarblade @ 6:15 am

shinkai2

Track Listing

  1. Shinkai -Hi-ra Mix-
  2. Kimi e -Royal Mirrorball Mix-
  3. Shinkai -Royal Mirrorball Mix- (CD only)
  4. Shinkai -Hi-ra Mix- (Instrumental)
  5. Kimi e -Royal Mirrorball Mix- (Instrumental)

1. Shinkai -Hi-ra Mix-

As the leading version of the single, Shinkai begins with a simple snapping beat and then turns into a pretty cool EDM track with some tricks up its sleeves.  It is a bit slower than their normal sound, but the change of the arrangement is pretty neat (except for the interludes…a little out of place).  Still it’s nice to see that Hitomi and now Yuri kind of have front lines this time.  Overall it’s nice, but “Never ever” was way better!

2. Kimi e -Royal Mirrorball Mix-

To bring back some familiarity, we have RM remixes next, the first is of a song that was released in its original arrangement back in April and now reappeared as a remix.  As I mentioned already for long-time fans you already know what’ll sound like essentially.  A lot of brass and funk involved.  The tune itself is alright, but there are some weak vocals here and there (the kind of pseudo-rap section is a major red flag).  To be honest, it’s one of the lesser-liked remixes RM has done.

3. Shinkai -Royal Mirrorball Mix-

On CD only versions of the single, it comes with another Royal Mirrorball remix, but this time of the leading track!  After being disappointed over “Kimi e’s” remix, I was hoping Shinkai’s was better, but I think I might’ve expected too much because while it has more oomph, the track sounds so much like their previous songs that it’s just hard to separate it from the similar tracks.

 

 

As the first single since Ayano Konishi left the group, Shinkai feels a bit like nothing has totally changed except that Yuri has a lot more lines than before.  Really it’s just the usual release for the group.  The leading mix of Shinkai is OK, but definitely not better than their last single.  The remixes are more or less the same as we’ve been getting for years so meh.  Overall, it just seems to be that weird transitioning era of trying to fill in the hole that Ayano left.

 

TOKYO GIRLS’ STYLE – 1st BEST ALBUM Kirari☆ January 9, 2016

Filed under: TOKYO GIRLS' STYLE — solarblade @ 6:43 am

1stalbumkirari

Track Listing

  1. Kirari☆ -Album Version-
  2. Onnaji Kimochi
  3. Kodou no Himitsu
  4. Himawari to Hoshikuzu
  5. Limited addiction
  6. Liar
  7. Rock you!
  8. Tsuioku -Single Version-
  9. Bad Flower
  10. Partition Love
  11. Unmei
  12. Chiisana Kiseki
  13. Count Three -New Vo. Version-
  14. Killing Me Softly -Royal Mirrorball Mix- (Type D only)

Type A CD 2 Tracklist

  1. LIFE SIZE
  2. Don’t Be Cruel
  3. Juujika ~Eiga “Gakkou no Kaidan” -Noroi no Kotodama- Ver.~
  4. LolitA☆Strawberry in summer
  5. Discord
  6. Kodoku no Hate ~Tsuki ga Naiteiru~
  7. Ganbatte Itsudatte Shinjiteru
  8. Attack Hyper Beat POP
  9. Boku no Tegami
  10. Regret.
  11. Killing Me Softly
  12. Yakusoku
  13. Kitto Wasurenai,,,

Type B CD 2 Tracklist

  1. pale blue nocturne
  2. GAME
  3. existence
  4. Say long goodbye
  5. A New Departure
  6. Killing Me Softly -Miii Remix-
  7. Zutto Wasurenai. -PellyColo Remix-
  8. Kodou no Himitsu -KM Remix-
  9. Onnaji Kimochi -K BoW Jersey Remix-
  10. Limited addiction -Seiho Remix-
  11. We Will Win! ~Kokoro no Baton de Po Pon no Po~n☆~ -Carpainter Remix-

1. Kirari☆ -Album Version-

I’m not surprised that the best album would open with the group’s debut single.  Though I’m kind of surprised we’re at our 3rd version (the single version, the version from their first album, and now this one).  Unlike the “Kodou no Himitsu” cut, this one omits the outro for obvious reasons and left us with the remaining song.  I’ve always loved this song and remains at the top of best songs from the quintet.  You could hear the sounds of piano and synths meshing so nicely together and coming back to it, you could hear the arrangement hint of what the group would be sounding like in the future.  Really a cool song to return to and the beginning of the reign of Hitomi and Ayano as the group’s de-facto leads!

2. Onnaji Kimochi

After the funky, yet hopeful song, we enter the group’s 2nd single and it was definitely a change of pace to a more youthful and fun song.  I also seemed to really enjoy the bright atmosphere and the whole ~whoa, let’s get together now~ and the ~chu, chu, chu~ lines really invaded my head and stuck with me even today!  It’s an adorable song from them and one of those rare cute moments the group have!

3. Kodou no Himitsu

I’m not sure why the placement of our next track is placed before “Himawari to Hoshikuzu” considering the latter was released before said song, but eh.  As short as the timing, this was when I felt like TGS were going into a more mature and serious style with their music and the arrangements were getting a bit more funk-based and let the group singing in a lower range in comparison to the singles promoting their first album.  I also seem to love this song a lot and it’s just from the sheer amount of cool melodies and the riffs from the song that stuck to me…it was just so cool and different for the group!

4. Himawari to Hoshikuzu

I suppose saying that “Kodou no Himitsu” was the start of the more serious TGS stuff, Himawari to Hoshikuzu also was like the other route by being classy and funky and having a overall brighter outlook in lyrics.  I’m liking the amount of solos of the members here, but it’s still mostly Ayano and Hitomi and they both sound amazing with the arrangement (though that guitar flicker is a bit bothersome)…

5. Limited addiction

I think where my love for the group peaked was with this song (which was the leading song off their 7th single).  I mean we’e talked about the whole mature/funky sound the group was starting to head towards and this one really showcased everyone as an actual group (despite Mei, Yuri, and Miyu not being the best vocally during this time period).  It was also the beginning of something that I just couldn’t get behind and it was the near minute-long musical interludes…it was really annoying in later songs and since Limited addiction was the first of those songs to incorporate that, it was my only qualm for an otherwise badass song (especially Ayano who REALLY was vocally getting into the songs!).

6. Liar

Liar was the song that started making me worry about the group’s growth musically because it sounded SO much like “Kodou no Himitsu” & “Limited addiction” that it was quickly starting to grow less and less one me.  I do think the addition of guitars was a try for something different, but it was being overwhelmed by the funk arrangement.  It just wasn’t a memorable A-side for me.

7. Rock you!

At least they try to deviate from the muddled sounds by doing Rock you! which is in the same vein as like “Himawari to Hoshikuzu” with the upbeat nature of the song (and there’s the guitar flicker again”).  I’m loving the punch out of the song still and really like some of the chords these girls are tackling (especially when one goes real high and the other goes low).  I think the loud chants are what make me remember this A-side outside of the others.

8. Tsuioku -Single Version-

At least we break from the monotony with Tsuioku which is one of the couple times the group has a ballad lead off.  As the title suggest this is from the 10th single and not from their “Limited addiction” album.  Once again, loving the share of lines within the members and for a slow song, it’s not that bad coming back to this (and in some ways breathe it new light considering the previous tracks’ line of similarities.  They’ve come a nice way and this song did a great job to show that off!

9. Bad Flower

Then in a huge twist, their next single brought back a more powerful sounding and cool looking TGS (beforehand, they went on hiatus to focus on working with their vocals) and boy does it show big time!  The arrangement has a little funk to it, but it has a stronger guitar riff and the training the group went into, they came out MUCH stronger than before especially the back members (Yuri, Mei, Miyu) as they got some cool vocals to match the even stronger members in Hitomi and Ayano). It was a cool song for the group and managed to catch my attention again after some rather mediocre releases.

10. Partition Love

After that hot single came and pass, Partition Love enters in and we’re bac into familiar territory with the arrangement.  Though, I think I was surprised with the group’s lighter performance (the whispering and airy tone of the group was nifty) and then the cool chorus just slides in.  Besides the kind of unusual PV, the song was pretty cool and showed the group going into a MORE mature setting~.  It was a song that took me a little to get used to, but I ended up loving it!

11. Unmei

I was hoping for a new change even though I did end up loving “Partition Love” and unfortunately ended up at Unmei.  I guess I shouldn’t say that because I did end up liking Unmei too despite having MANY of the things I’ve complained on this disc so far.  I still love it, but it has to be separate from the previous TGS songs as otherwise, it is a bit too generic in the middle of these songs (and goddamn there’s a lot of that going on).

12. Chiisana Kiseki

Then I feel like the disc technically ends with Chiisana Kiseki and I thought this was an absurd song from the group.  I mean it’s definitely not carrying the funk sound like other songs, but at the same time I still manage to feel like this song is reaching generic pop song (with that goddamn guitar flicker).  The girls sound decent enough (there’s some not so good notes the girls are hitting) but there’s just nothing connecting me to the track, sadly.

13. Count Three -New Vo. Version-

On majority of the editions, the first disc ends with Count Three which alongside this (and most of Type B 2nd Disc) were released as analog singles (which meant I couldn’t review them…until now).  What’s nice though is that for Count Three they actually resung it (because apparantly the original was a bit weak and too quiet).  While the arrangement is nothing new, I feel like this song is reminding me a lot of “Himawari to Hoshikuzu” with the kind of casino feeling going on.  I think the girls could’ve hit some notes with more energy (and trust me, it needed it) it’s an OK track, but nothing I’d deem special.

14. Killing Me Softly -Royal Mirrorball Mix-

So on Type D, it comes with a remix (because we can’t have a TOKYO GIRLS’ STYLE album without some kind of exclusive remix on ONE of the editions lol.  Also, another RM track to toss in the already giant catalog of RM remixes XD.  Killing Me Softly’s mix isn’t too much to write home on about considering it is something once again rolling in the familiarity of past disco-esque mixes.  Honestly, I don’t think it’s worth the need to get.

Type A CD 2

1. LIFE SIZE

It seems the tracklist on the Type A tracklists of the second disc contains B-sides and album tracks, LIFE SIZE is the odd one out due to it being the only digital single to not have a release, until now that is.  It’s actually an oddball song since it’s a lot more electronic than their usual stuff (which to many fans was a breath of fresh air).  The synth beats are cool and the group is a little more natural sounding (except in certain parts).  It’s a nice treat to see and opens the 2nd disc up in a good way.

2. Don’t Be Cruel

As the B-side from “Limited addiction”, it took me a while to remember what this song sounded like (it’s been quite a while).  I enjoy the disc-scratching of the opening and the slight not to throw some R&B, but it really turns out to be something like “Unmei” just with some tricks up its sleeves.  Nothing too special, but I do think it does represent the earlier times, I suppose.

3. Juujika ~Eiga “Gakkou no Kaidan” ~Noroi no Kotodama~ Ver.~

There are also two A-sides funny enough on this disc and I was pretty happy to see the single version of Juujika make the cut at least (and not the goddawful album version).  I LOVE THIS SONG, like with “Bad Flower”, this song showed a MUCH more mature side to the group and considering the song was tied to a horror film, I was blown away at how epic this group could get!  Juujika is just dark and really epic (especially Ayano’s lines).  Wonderful song overall and deserved to make the cut!

4. LolitA☆Strawberry in summer

Figured at least one of the SweetS covers would make the cut and I’m happy it’s this one over “Love like candy floss”.  I’m still surprised that it’s almost 7 minutes long, but this B-side from “Bad Flower” was pretty faithful to the original and arrangement-wise stands out by having a stronger pop/rock sound (and there’s some male background singers (which has never been a thing before this).  After following the group for so long and ending up at this, I’m kind of digging it and the sorta Lolita vibe is present too.  It’s grown on me a lot, but it still doesn’t beat out the other two tracks from the single.

5. Discord

Well, I do appreciate seeing the main tracks from “Bad Flower” making the cut (someone REALLY liked the single).  When I first reviewed this, I was here and there, but did say it was one of their better B-sides.  Nowadays, I really love this song and has this kind of shuffling, funky push about it that I love and the longer interludes don’t bother me quite as much.  I love the vocal filters giving the expression that they’re speaking in a megaphone.  It’s definitely one of my favorite B-sides from the group EVER!!!

6. Kodoku no Hate ~Tsuki no Naiteiru~

Yup, there’s even album tracks on this disc!  It’s been a while since I’ve taken a listen to stuff from their debut album, but it seems like we’re here!  One of the songs, Kodoku no Hate starts off at what seems like a cafe before the song turns into this sort-of rockabilly, somewhat big band track and considering the group was not concrete on their sound yet, it’s refreshing!  It’s cute too from the young group, it’s just a fun and jumpy song to wake you up and dance around!

7. Ganbatte Itsudatte Shinjiteru

We jump back even earlier to the group’s 3rd single!  Of their first three singles, I tend to forget this one quite a lot!  Listening to it again, the song is pretty much like “Kirari☆” minus the rather serious glow.  Vocally it’s a bit rough around the edges (Hitomi led), but I just didn’t really care about this one (sounds a bit trite) and generic as an idol song like “Chiisana Kiseki”…although the updated version from said single is leagues better than the original!

8. Attack Hyper Beat POP

Another song off their debut album, I definitely couldn’t remember what this sounded like, but the song is really fast considering!  There’s some electronics sneaking in the background of the music and the mix is pretty cool.  My only issues is the vocals in the chorus, they’re really pinching their notes and at some points is hard to listen to.  I think if they had resung this, it would’ve been a much better song!

9. Boku no Tegami

Next up are a couple tracks from their sophomore album starting with Boku no Tegami.  Being the mid-tempo funk track, it’s a small change, but I think the song was kind of interesting (though its laidback composition is strange when there’s a guitar solo in it that leads into this bluesy tone).  I think I kind of dug it even if I didn’t originally…a nice change of pace on the disc.

10. Regret.

On “Limited attraction”, this song actually came before “Boku no Tegami” so it’s kind of funny that it switched with one another.  Another 6 minute track, Regret. opens up with a nice keyboard opening (and quiet too) before the song well…turns into another funky song.  Originally, I wasn’t too phased by it, but nothing changed on listening to it again.  I feel bored and the song doesn’t offer anything new to the table…sad to say, but I just didn’t care about this.

11. Killing Me Softly

As the title track from their 4th album, Killing Me Softly was an intriguing song not only as promotional material, but the fact that it existed before their debut single, “Kirari☆” released.  I love the spanish guitar intro, makes the song sound so much personal.  Despite the arrangement, the tune has a lot more going on and I like the flow of it alongside Hitomi who sung surprisingly well!  What a nice surprise!

12. Yakusoku

Hmmm, the title track from their 3rd album next huh?  I totally forgot what this one sounded like XD.  Then turning it on, it sounds like a beta for “Killing Me Softly” because there’s acoustic guitar and some synth beats here and there.  I don’t want to say it was forgetful because it sounds really nice, but there’s not much for me to keep on with unlike the other title tracks.

13. Kitto Wasurenai,,,

Ending off the 2nd disc, Kitto Wasurenai,,, was an A-side during their first era and it never really caught on to me as well because it reminded me of both “Himawari to Hoshikuzu” and “Ganbatte Itsudatte Shinjiteru” with the arrangement, which is just not good and this flew WAY over my head (especially with doing this review, it’s much more gray and lifeless than ever).

Type B CD 2

1. pale blue nocturne

So, Type B’s 2nd disc contains all of the songs released as analog singles (with the exception of “Count Three”)…although 2/5 of the original tracks I haven’t heard because the other 3 were on the singles preceding this best album.  I have a bad feeling though since none of those songs were that memorable.  With pale blue nocturne, I kind of like the funk mixed with this mysterious undertone that gives me some horror vibes (not strong like “Juujika” but it’s there…it’s different that’s for sure!

2. GAME

As I’ve heard this from the “Say long goodbye” single, GAME is a bit slower than the previous song, but it’s funky like all their other tracks.  Sadly, it’s one of the more bland songs in their collection and there’s not much for me to grasp…a failed album track?…seems like it would’ve fit on “Yakusoku”.

3. existence

At least the next track is a lot more fast-paced.  As the other track I haven’t heard prior to the best album, existence is a lot more my style and the vocals are back down to this sultry and sexy feel and then exploding into fire when the chorus kicks in!  Definitely the best of the 5 (with “pale blue nocturne” coming in close in 2nd).

4. Say long goodbye

Damn with Hitomi opening the next track (which was the only of the 5 to be promoted to A-side status.  It’s also a straight-up ballad that actually didn’t go into funk overload like a lot of the other tracks.  Also it says something that this was here and yet “Stay with me” was excluded.  I thought the song was pretty good and possibly their best ballad as a 5-nin.

5. A New Departure

Talking about “Stay with me”, the B-side was this track haha.  Not really much new here that isn’t already available through other songs.  I hate to say, but some of it did remind me of their debut single, but with more interludes.  Really unfortunate and just doesn’t do anything for me.

6. Killing Me Softly -Miii Remix-

Yup there was remixes on those analog singles too xD.  At least they aren’t all RM remixes right?  The first is of Killing Me Softly and from the beginning the electronics are up and running and really doing numerous things.  It’s a little 8bit and a little dubstep too.  I don’t think it worked with the vocal melody and just kind of seemed off for the whole run.

7. Zutto Wasurenai. -PellyColo Remix-

Next up is a remix for a song from their “Killing Me Softly” album (and a song that isn’t otherwise on this album), I get this nostalgic 80s feel about it and unlike the previous remix, it worked with the melody and just turned a song originally dubbed dull and generic.  I much prefer this remix over the original for sure!

8. Kodou no Himitsu -KM Remix-

KM? My site?  Really?  Just kidding, our next remix deals with Kodou no Himitsu and I was surprised at how laidback this one is in comparison to the original.  To be fair, some of the chords of the intro sounded a bit Western (like cowboys and all that).  Though it switches to synths in the verses then some piano and R&B beats.  Yeah, it’s a bit much and somewhat messy and some of the heavier beats are on with the vocals which is more odd and structurally awkward.

9. Onnaji Kimochi -K BoW Jersey Remix-

Something about our next remix was actually doing something nice, but then knowing the vocals were sounding chipmunky bothered me a lot!  The arrangement is a bit more boom-clap-like with some synth stuff going on, but I just couldn’t deal with the vocals here…leave them alone!

10. Limited addiction -Seiho Remix-

Damn, these remixes are just not doing anything for me.  At least the vocals were left along this time around.  Though the problem this time around is that the remixing is very off the wall and just doesn’t do anything for the song in a good way.  Just a bit too messy for me.

11. We Will Win! ~Kokoro no Baton de Po Pon no Po~n☆~ -Carpainter Remix-

Ending off the best album, we get a remix for another song that whose original version didn’t make the cut for the best album.  I think some of the remixed take suits the vocal melody but the arrangement is minimal at best and full of bloops and swoops.  It’s not the worst, but I don’t think I’d come back to this either.

Tracks Recommended

  • Bad Flower
  • Limited addiction
  • Kirari☆ -Album Version-
  • Partition Love
  • Kodou no Himitsu
  • Juujika ~Eiga “Gakkou no Kaidan” ~Noroi no Kotodama~ Ver.~
  • Discord
  • pale blue nocturne
  • LIFE SIZE
  • Killing Me Softly

Song of Avoidance

  • Chiisana Kiseki
  • Regret.

Wow, this was long!  Anyways,I thought I’d review this album since I’ve been an avid fan of theirs since they debuted.  With this album actually being the closing chapter of the group being known as an idol group and moving towards being musicians (and subsequently marking Ayano’s history with the group (the exception is of course “Never ever”).  1st BEST ALBUM Kirari☆ is a nice collection of songs from the group even though not all A-sides are on it, but the variety is mostly nice.  The Type B second disc is probably the weakest part of the release but otherwise, I enjoyed it!  A lot of history here 😀

 

TOKYO GIRLS’ STYLE – REFLECTION January 6, 2016

Filed under: TOKYO GIRLS' STYLE — solarblade @ 7:08 am

reflection

Track Listing

  1. Reflection
  2. Never ever (TJO & YUSUKE from BLU-SWING Remix)
  3. illusion (TJO & YUSUKE from BLU-SWING Remix)
  4. White Snow
  5. READY GO!
  6. Dear Friend
  7. Junpaku no Yakusoku
  8. YOU & I FOREVER (YUSUKE from BLU-SWING MIX)
  9. White Snow (Royal Mirrorball Mix)
  10. Junpaku no Yakusoku (Royal Mirrorball Mix)
  11. Zutto Wasurenai. (TJO & YUSUKE from BLU-SWING Remix)
  12. YOU & I FOREVER (Type-C only)

1. Reflection

Opening the album is funny enough, the title track!  Reflection at least doesn’t end up being a ballad and it has definitely got its own identity as well having such a distinct sound that’s different from previous efforts.  The biggest thing to notice is that the group has slightly raised their tones for this song and they sound…more youthful than previous efforts.  Having a classier vibe, I found myself enjoying the tune a lot!  Simple, but definitely foot-tapping catchy!

2. Never ever (TJO & YUSUKE from BLU-SWING Remix)

Though it’s interesting to think that this was the only actual single to represent the album, I’m very much happy that the remix for Never ever was chosen over the original (as the latter was pretty much vanilla and sounds like every other thing TOKYO GIRLS’ STYLE.  I LOVE THIS SONG, it’s just a nice breakaway from their typical producer and it’s club sound really suits the group almost perfectly, even when the group steps back and lets the remixers work their magic.  Though I hate to say that it’s a song to represent a change within the group, but I’ll mention that later.  Still what an amazing song for the group!

3. illusion (TJO & YUSUKE from BLU-SWING Remix)

Apparantly, illusion was actually released as an analog single back in October, but considering it isn’t a part of their major discography, I actually skipped over it.  Though, the original mix was forgotten (though, no surprise because the song is more or less what the group has been known for).  The remix was also on the single but it actually made the cut!  As the lyrics were done by Mei, it was nice to her pull it off, the remix isn’t quite as epic as “Never ever’s”, but you can hear the similarities between the two.  After a while, I start to notice that Mei is the only one singing in this track and that’s actually surprising if it was a single.  I liked it a lot, but it could’ve used less of the auto-tune.

4. White Snow

Finally some non-remixed songs!  I’m not sure who opens the song, but it feels like the other members are starting to pick up the slack.  After the opening lines, the tune once agains turns into a nice chill club track that actually reminds me of early avex.  It might not have the energy of the previous tracks, but it’s pleasant and shows off everyone nicely!

5. READY GO!

Oh, I love the ethereal opening of our next track a lot!  Though it quickly turns into this kind of funky dance track (with some odd sounding synth melodies).  It does reminds me of songs from “Killing Me Softly”, but it has its own charm as it’s one of a couple songs on here so it’s a nice break from the club beats.

6. Dear Friend

I’m not sure where the changes happened, but this album so far has exceeded my interest that their last album had.  Dear Friend comes up next and the tune is like their regular releases stripped down and given a nice bass synth melody.  While the song isn’t trying to push boundaries, the nostalgia is heavy on this one and I’m loving the quartet together!

7. Junpaku no Yakusoku

Chosen to promote the album, the next track surprised me with the acoustic guitar intro!  Though it does quickly change things up by adding the synths and beats, the tune really encompasses what this album is all about (minus the slight nod to dubstep, without hitting the wub-wubs).  It might be the slow glow of this song, but I didn’t connect with this one as fast as the other tracks here.

8. YOU & I FOREVER (YUSUKE from BLU-SWING MIX)

It’s kind of funny that this track is the only one to not include TJO alongside YUSUKE, but I feel like that’s a good thing to let one of them take the reins.  I do love the strings that open the song and how it builds up to take a more club-friendly arrangement.  Really I couldn’t tell what TJO does because it has the same things going on besides the addition of piano and strings.  The song itself is OK, without the dance beats, it could’ve made a decent ballad, but with the dance beats…it gets lost amongst the others.

9. White Snow (Royal Mirrorball Mix)

I actually feel like the album ends with the last track and here we are stuck with more remixes.  The first of them is of White Snow and while I’ve been at a love and hate relationship with the multitude of remixes from him alone, I was curious to see how well they’d fare against the BLU-SWING remixes.  This one is kind of classy sounding, almost an 80’s kind of feel and that was pretty cool.  There’s time where it’s a little messy and busy, but I ended up digging it!

10. Junpaku no Yakusoku (Royal Mirrorball Mix)

Well, the originality isn’t exactly felt in this remix of Junpaku no Yakusoku.  This runs in the mold of what I expect the group would sound like and it doesn’t help it sounds VERY similar to past remixes AND the remix for “White Snow” too.  Just very plain and boring.

11. Zutto Wasurenai. (TJO & YUSUKE from BLU-SWING Remix)

Another BLU-SWING remix???  Jeeze, so many of them.  Anyways it’s nice they chose to go back in their catalog to remix this song (originally a part of their last album, “Kiling Me Softly”).  I had sadly forgot how the track originally went, butthis remix is giving some HEAVY 80s vibes and I quite loved it and almost thought of CHVRCHES.  Really cool remix and while I sitll love “Never ever” this is a close second!

12. YOU & I FOREVER

Only found on the Type C editions of the album (thank god there isn’t multiple edition-only songs this time around!), we get the original mix of YOU & I FOREVER.  This is definitely in the vein of the usual TGS songs out there, but there’s something bright and upbeat which is a nice twist to the formula.  It’s fast-paced and gets ya movin’ real quick.  Interesting way to close the album though.

Tracks Recommended

  • Never ever (TJO & YUSUKE from BLU-SWING Remix)
  • Dear Friend
  • Zutto Wasurenai. (TJO & YUSUKE from BLU-SWING Remix)
  • Reflection

Song of Avoidance

  • Junpaku no Yakusoku (Royal Mirrorball Remix)

I was kind of surprised with the announcement of REFLECTION with just one single to represent it (simply because they’ve had a couple singles before that, but they ended up sending those to their best album).  The album itself is a nice upgrade after “Killing Me Softly” and it’s mainly just from having different producers this time around.  What is bigger is just from looking at the cover!  There’s only 4 members and that’s because Ayano Konishi announced that she was leaving the group (after this released) and it felt like she had NO appearance on the album besides Never ever and Zutto Wasurenai..  It’s going to be a little difficult considering she was my favorite member (and one of the best idol singers)…let’s just see what this now quartet is capable of!

 

 

TOKYO GIRLS’ STYLE – Never ever June 29, 2015

Filed under: TOKYO GIRLS' STYLE — solarblade @ 7:10 pm

neverever

Track Listing

  1. Never ever (TJO & Yusuke from BLU-SWING Remix)
  2. Never ever
  3. Never ever (Royal Mirrorball vs MODEWARP Main mix)
  4. Never ever (Royal Mirrorball vs MODEWARP Dub mix)
  5. Never ever (TJO & Yusuke from BLU-SWING Remix) -Instrumental-
  6. Never ever -Instrumental-

1. Never ever (TJO & Yusuke from BLU-SWING Remix)

Jeeze, if I thought TOKYO GIRLS’ STYLE were trying to deviate further from their idol past, this remix should’ve just be the main version hahah.  I love this version because it’s pretty dramatic yet really has a powerful remixed sound to it that worked in every way!  I mean it’s energetic, the group sounds amazing of course (plus all 5 have decent lines) and while the music interlude were a little long, definitely manageable.  It’s a pretty awesome song overall and definitely a favorite of 2015.

2. Never ever

Wish I could say the same for the original mix (or commonly known as the tie-in version for Fairy Tail.  Like I said above, if they were trying to move away from their idol sound, this isn’t a good start because this version while does have some spanish guitar dispersed throughout, the same arranging sounds are here that we’ve had for so long.  Plus the tempo doesn’t seem to work as well with a slower sound.  I mean what can I say that I haven’t with their last couple of singles?

3. Never ever (Royal Mirrorball vs MODEWARP Main mix)

The other remix of the single is a RM remix which hmmm…it’s different.  I mean the beat is pretty cool and the modified and layered and tampered vocals is a cool switch of sounds.  Never ever sounds so odd with these new tricks, but the arrangement does get repetitive after a while with no vocals playing around.  Weird remix overall and doesn’t exactly beat the main one

Their first single after their best album (and the 2nd since their transformation out of an idol setting), Never ever is a strange one.  The original mix (aka track 2) doesn’t feel any different from any of the songs from their best album (that they released before this) and despite having a huge tie-in, it didn’t do much for me.  HOWEVER, the first track, the remix, was pretty amazing and happy that it got the PV…the remix is just cool and makes the song have a bigger punch (reminds of “Juujika” actually).  The other remix is interesting, not sure if worth the listen though.  Overall, it’s OK but if they want to make a stronger change, they need to give up their arranger for their main songs.

 

TOKYO GIRLS’ STYLE – Stay with me March 31, 2015

Filed under: TOKYO GIRLS' STYLE — solarblade @ 6:47 pm

staywithme

Track Listing

  1. Stay with me
  2. A New Departure
  3. Kasokudo
  4. Stay with me (Instrumental)
  5. A New Departure (Instrumental)
  6. Kasokudo (Instrumental)
  7. Say long goodbye -Vocal Only for REMIX- (Type A, B, C only)

1. Stay with me

It feels like we’re finally getting something different from being a ballad or being something funky…it’s actually a mix of both ironically.  Though what caught my attention the most is that this is mostly Hitomi singing here and the other 4 members are basically backups.  I’m a bit disappointed because I could so see Yuri or Ayano tackling these verses a lot better than just leaving it for one girl.  The song though sounds really refreshing but familiar to their fans.  Interesting though.

2. A New Departure

The B-side of the single though sounds more like familiar territory with the kind of discotheque/funk sounds and engaging arrangement.  After having some time with their last single, A New Departure sounds good and the line distribution is more equal which is a sigh of relief after “Stay with me”.  Unfortunately, the song in the long run really doesn’t stand out in their discography…but it’s bright and not on the serious side of things.

3. Kasokudo

Then we get Kasokudo which doesn’t focus too much on the guitar licks and brass like “A New Departure”, it still does kind of depend on the same range of sounds regardless.  Call it shallow and bland because it really didn’t interest me…At least the vocals pulled me into it, they sounded a bit more relaxed and together which I haven’t heard in a while.  So it’s not a total fail, it’s just that I’m getting slightly tired of the same-ish arrangements.

4. Say long goodbye -Vocal Only for REMIX-

So the single ends with a remix?  Actually not really, it might be FOR a remix, however the tune itself is actually in a cappella where it’s just only the vocals.  I was surprised it’d open with those REALLY high notes, but this shows off how great they are at vocals.  I just wonder what’s the use for it on this single.

Pushing the best album back til May and announcing that this is their new chapter where they’re not gonna be idols no more, Stay with me has done little to show me that they’re not idols since they’re continuing to give the same stuff we’ve been getting since they debuted.  I will admit, Stay with me is nice, but a bit too Hitomi-centered.  A New Departure and Kasokudo have nice elements, but we’ve heard this all before…they’re going to need to hit gold if they want to be seen as non-idols after their best album.

 

TOKYO GIRLS’ STYLE – Say long goodbye/Himawari to Hoshikuzu -English Ver.- February 19, 2015

Filed under: TOKYO GIRLS' STYLE — solarblade @ 7:22 pm

saylonggoodbye

Track Listing

  1. Say long goodbye
  2. Himawari to Hoshikuzu -English Ver.-
  3. GAME
  4. Say long goodbye (Instrumental)
  5. Himawari to Hoshikuzu -English Ver.- (Instrumental)
  6. GAME (Instrumental)

1. Say long goodbye

It’s been a while since TGS has released a ballad as an A-side (“Tsuioku”) and Say long goodbye sounds a lot like what I thought the group was going to sound like back when they debuted which is not saying it’s bad, but it’s nice and refreshing to here something like this.  Though I’m always impressed that the group just sounds great and Ayano just….oh my.  It’s got a great 90’s ballad feel and it’s just so soothing…though I can’t lie and say I didn’t think they were disbanding for some reason but I’ll get to that.  Overall, this is a pretty awesome ballad and just made a great closing for their 2014.

2. Himawari to Hoshikuzu -English Ver.-

Though I can’t say the same for the other A-side.  Now I do love Himawari to Hoshikuzu, it’s one of their best songs from their debut era…and we were blessed with an English revision on their 3rd album, “Yakusoku” which I said wasn’t bad, but their accents kind of made it near impossible to follow what they were saying.  So I am rather curious why they brought it here now AND as an A-side?  It wasn’t redone or anything either, so it’s the same complaints here.  Just seems redundant to include to be honest.

3. GAME

If you were looking for that funky sound TGS has been quite known for, GAME is your song which easily fits amongst them.  Being a track that was initially released on vinyls (they still do that in Japan?), GAME also doesn’t fully stand out to me whereas “Unmei” and “Limited addiction” has.  In time, it’ll grow, but I don’t really find anything totally memorable about this one.

 

 

Being the lone single before their first best album drops, I was wondering if Say long goodbye was a farewell song because of the whole mood of the song (and the PV didn’t help either).  This is a pretty amazing song for them though and with them NOT breaking up, it’s got a lot of interest from me.  It is squashed though by the laziness of the Himawari to Hoshikuzu wreck that is its English version and the kind of generic feel from GAME.  So I can hope that’ll never happen anytime soon again lol.