Kurayami Monogatari

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yanaginagi – Tokohana June 2, 2014

Filed under: yanaginagi — solarblade @ 3:53 am

tokohana

Track Listing

  1. Tokohana
  2. Wasurenai Tame ni
  3. Cross Road
  4. Tokohana (Instrumental)
  5. Wasurenai Tame ni (Instrumental)
  6. Cross Road (Instrumental)

1. Tokohana

Whoa, what are you chanting there nagi?  I love the intro for Tokohana quite a bit and even after when it switches into a rock song.  Like her previous rock tracks, “Laterality” and “Zoetrope”, Tokohana is a really edgy song with some great guitar chords going, but she included some strings to provide that extra bit of drama.  The energy is a little lighter than the aforementioned tracks, but this was a great tune.

2. Wasurenai Tame ni

Of course it’s when the B-sides happen where most of the experimentation can be found.  Wasurenai Tame ni starts off with some lowkey piano melody with some other blips and sounds giving this space-y feel.  I thought the song was going to be a full ballad, but it opens in the chorus to a little more of a mid-tempo ballad.  It’s pleasant, and I’m enjoying nag’s soft vocals against the arrangement a lot!  What a pretty song!

3. Cross Road

When I turned this on, the first thing I felt was that Cross Road was an airy adventure of a tune because it really instills those feelings in me with the upbeat arrangement and the chorus was a nice surprise and we get to hear nagi tackle more of her higher register.  I will say that I was more into the previous two tracks, but this is pretty good too!

 

 

As nagi’s 3rd single of this era, I was kind of surprised how quiet this release was lol.  Tokohana is definitely an upgrade over her last A-side “Mitsuba no Musubime” with it’s rockin’ atmosphere and strong vocals.  Though the B-sides once again are the real stars on the single.  Wasurenai Tame ni and Cross Road are in that same set of songs that just NEED to be A-sides…I love how much effort there is whenever I listen to a nagi single!

 

yanaginagi – Mitsuba no Musubime February 18, 2014

Filed under: yanaginagi — solarblade @ 10:23 pm

mitsubanomusubime

Track Listing

  1. Mitsuba no Musubime
  2. Intention Propellant
  3. unjour
  4. Mitsuba no Musubime (instrumental)
  5. Intention Propellant (instrumental)
  6. unjour (instrumental)

1. Mitsuba no Musubime

I turned the song on and we’re greeted with piano and strings and some synths in the back…though it gets cut off when nagi begins to sing.  nagi’s voice is light and pleasant and the tune ebbs and flows with the instrumentation all around.  The chorus is pretty pleasant and sounds just right.  Though coming from “Aqua Terrarium”, the song does slightly fall short and it does kind of come off as a bit *we’ve heard this kind of song before*.  Still you can’t deny nagi’s lovely voice here!

2. Intention Propellant

Moving to the B-side, Intention Propellant starts with an unusual piano melody that kind of bounces all over the measures lol.  nagi’s voice are a bit lighter than in the A-side but she adds a lot of color to the song and she fills in the spaces that the piano leave out…it’s a bit of experimenting done right and I quite liked how it turned out overall.

3. unjour

Synths open up the 2nd B-side from the single and immediately kind of caught my attention over the previous tracks.  nagi’s voice is also light and airy here and there’s a lot more experimenting found here in comparison to “Intention Propellant”.  It’s so chill and relaxing to listen to, but at the same quite otherworldly from nagi hahah…I enjoyed it!

 

 

nagi’s 2nd single of the era might not surpass her last single, “Aqua Terrarium” but it’s definitely a good single from her.  Mitsuba no Musubime is a nice tune, but I’m not responding much towards it like I was with her last one.  However, Intention Propellant and unjour are both stepping outside of the box and I really liked how both turned out (especially unjour) that’s a pretty cool tune!  Wonder what her next single will bring!

 

yanaginagi – Aqua Terrarium

Filed under: yanaginagi — solarblade @ 7:09 pm

aquaterrarium

Track Listing

  1. Aqua Terrarium
  2. mnemonic
  3. You can count on me
  4. Aqua Terrarium (instrumental)
  5. mnemonic (instrumental)
  6. You can count on me (instrumental)

1. Aqua Terrarium

With such a title, I was definitely curious to what nagi was thinking of.  OMG, this song definitely showcases such a feeling especially with that intro.  Then seeing that Chiaki Ishikawa helped out here made sense because it kind of does sound like a song that would also fit her voice.  I liked the relaxed sound of the track and it really does sound like a song made for underwater as it’s just so pleasant to the ears!  That bass though sounds like it was ripped from Cirque du Soleil, but it really gives this song a lot of color as well…damn…what a good follow-up after “Euaru”.

2. mnemonic

I kind of was surprised that mnemonic was actually a couple seconds longer that “Aqua Terrarium”.  I actually kind of got the underwater theme in this song too which is pretty amazing because this has a little more action from the synths.  nagi’s vocals actually to me sound a lot more livelier and pretty to listen to here.  I’m not sure which of the two songs are the best 0.o

3. You can count on me

Damn, all the songs on this single are 5 minutes long basically.  It’s funny because we come out of two mid-tempo songs that just scream underwater motif…and then You can count on me comes rushing in with a fast-paced arrangement with a lot of drums and strings…reminds me of another anison theme lol but this is kind of odd finding it on the single as it doesn’t fit…I will say that its brightness would’ve been great on her album, but here seems so…I’m not sure the right word.  By itself, nagi gave an exciting performance and it shows as she doing a great job singing here.  Fun song and I can grow to love it, but this is a wake-up call after the previous tracks!

 

 

After her first album, I was wondering what would happen with nagi, but she quickly came out of it with Aqua Terrarium and good lord is it good!  I loved that Ishikawa worked on the A-side because it really sounds like one of her songs…it was just a heavenly track, then mnemonic comes in and IMO topples that by being more along the motif of water and nagi just knocked it out.  Though the sore thumb of the single is hands down You can count on me because it’s exciting, vibrant and overall not a mid-tempo track LOL.  I have to once again say that this is a *RECOMMENDED*…damn nagi!

 

yanaginagi – Euaru February 2, 2014

Filed under: yanaginagi — solarblade @ 12:02 pm

euaru

Track Listing

  1. Hontou
  2. Yukitoki
  3. Ao no Parade
  4. concent
  5. helvetica
  6. Ambivalentidea
  7. euaru
  8. Zoetrope
  9. Laterality
  10. Strange Attractor
  11. Qualia
  12. Translucent
  13. Vidro Moyou
  14. Uso

CD2

  1. Agapē
  2. 1/2
  3. Ren’ai Circulation
  4. light prayer
  5. Uninstall
  6. Swallowtail Butterfly ~Ai no Uta~
  7. Kaze no Toori Michi

1. Hontou

nagi opens the album with Hontou and oddly enough kind of reminded me of the Jeopardy theme with an extra beat after it hahaha.  Though she comes in only doing some light ~la-la-las~ as the arrangement gets more fuller and filled out.  Short and to the point and sets the album’s mood nicely.

2. Yukitoki

As we start the vocal tracks we have nagi’s 5th A-side, Yukitoki and I did say it was the weakest amongst the singles but it’s still pretty damn good so it’s definitely not bad.  It has a certain anison sound to it which does make it somewhat generic considering what is in the arrangement but nagi sounds light and fluffy which gives the tune a more livelier feeling and I like it overall.

3. Ao no Parade

I was excited to hear the album’s songs and Ao no Parade definitely met expectations!  Being a little more synthy than other tracks, Ao no Parade kind of takes the anison out of “Yukitoki” and makes it a bit more broader sounding and soothing to listen to and I enjoyed every minute of it.  It’s definitely one of the surprising tracks but amazing though!

4. concent

Of all the B-sides nagi could have chosen for the album, why did it have to be the one from her debut single, “Vidro Moyou”?  I mean it’s not even a bad song, but nagi had so many better B-sides to choose from lol.  Anyway, it’s a completely entity of a song coming after “Ao no Parade” in where the song sounds more experimental, but I still love how nice her vocals sounded against the piano/synth arrangement.  Nice song overall (still sad that “Surrealisme” is missing).

5. helvetica

I’m not sure why, but when I saw the title, I was thinking it was going to be a dark song.  What we got is a more experimental and quieter “concent” and coming after said song made sense to me and we get to hear nagi sing in a more sleepier tone and I quite enjoyed that.  It’s relaxing music and I found myself being calmed down with this track…definitely a song to listen to!

6. Ambivalentidea

We get even more quieter with nagi’s 2nd single, Ambivalentidea and not much has changed in my opinions about since the review.  I like the orchestration in it and it’s like a Final Fantasy ending theme but handled majestically with nagi giving a stellar performance!  There were just something so beautiful and yet powerful about it at the same time…this is definitely one of her best songs!  It’s like KOKIA wrote it for her, but I doubt that’s the case….but damn nagi…so much praise out of this song!

7. euaru

After that glorious piece, we move into the title song, euaru.  After all them dramatics, euaru comes in with a happier piano melody and nagi’s tone is more brighter and playful.  The song sounds nice and all, but most of the time, I was kind of spacing out and in my mind coming back in, it makes for amazing background music (once again…sounds like the instrumental would be perfect for a video game).  Nice, but your focus might go astray.

8. Zoetrope

It’s so hard to decide whether Zoetrope or “Ambivalentidea” is the best A-side because they both provide a different experience.  Though I will say this song brought some energy back into the album after having 4 slower and lighter songs coming before it so entering this, I was happy to hear Zoetrope because it’s something no one saw nagi doing at the time.  This song is loud, brash, and powerful and nagi once again performed superbly.  This will definitely have you at the edge of your seat!

10. Laterality

Kind of fitting to have the 3rd A-side to come after the 4th because I also felt like nagi excelled in Laterality as well.  It’s not as furious as “Zoetrope” but it definitely follows its footsteps nicely (even though this came out first).  There are some traces of those typical anison chords in the chorus, but I though the song had a fantastic piano melody (and that bass solo!).  Great song!

11. Strange Attractor

When I listen to this song, I get reminded of school food punishment (especially “futuristic imagination”) but I kind of like the similarities as they give nagi a chance to put her voice in their sound and I quite love it to be honest.  Some might think it sounds like “Yukitoki” but I fell in love with this one and nagi sounds great (especially those high notes) damn nagi!

12. Qualia

As the album’s longest song at 6 minutes, Qualia I thought belonged more towards the first half of the album than the second because it’s another ballad and also has that kind of experimental sound fused with the simple piano melodies.  I thought the song sounded kind of dreamy and super pretty to listen to.  Not as amazing of a ballad like “Ambivalentidea” buuuut this is pretty damn close haha.

13. Translucent

Though I can’t say the same for Translucent which is another ballad on the album and also the plainest of the songs here.  I suppose nagi was trying to be more heartfelt in this one and it showed with her voice that’s for sure, but for a song that only had piano as the only instrument, Translucent felt so….underwhelming in comparison to the rest of the album.  I was expecting a higher dropoff, but no…it didn’t seem to really phase me any.

14. Vidro Moyou

I can’t believe it’s been a couple years that this has been out.  nagi’s debut single, Vidro Moyou might have been defeated by her singles after, but this showed the talent that was about to blossom.  It has a nice light dance beat about and nagi’s voice is pleasant (though I think there’s some auto-tune found here).  Like “euaru”, this song makes for great background music nowadays but for heavy listening, I think it also works as well.  Cool song overall!

15. Uso

We finally get to the end of the first disc with Uso and it kind of has a child-like atmosphere behind it with some disc scratches playing behind it.  I don’t knoow why, but I actually got bored of this one even quicker than I did with “Translucent” and I’m not entirely sure why.  I suppose the arrangement does seem a bit sleepy to me and nagi’s voice is a bit too soft for me…but I’m not even sure that’s the case…ehhh too confusing!

CD2

1. Agapē

The second disc is actually a couple of cover songs starting with Agapē which is originally by melocure.  At first, the song started slow and I was beginning to dislike it but it grew into this upbeat pop/rock track that definitely was loud and had a lot of drums XD.  nagi did pretty well with this song and she gave a solid performance.

2. 1/2

Originally sung by Makoto Kawamoto, 1/2 is pretty much a solid choice to cover and nagi sounded like she was having fun with the tune and once again them high notes are sounding sooo good.  Actually her voice sounds almost anison-ish which caught me off guard, but it’s still a good cover.

3. Ren’ai Circulation

I definitely think it’s the most recent of the songs covered here…this being a cover of a tune from Kana Hanazawa, Ren’ai Circulation is also placing nagi’s voice in a more cuter sound and mixing in her whispy vocals, the song sounds so adorable to listen to (especially that synth melody).  Cute overall, still not amongst the best songs but still good nonetheless.

4. light prayer

Oh damn, a cover of school food punishment’s light prayer…I was so ready for this one and if the band needed to replace Yumi, nagi is an amazing replacement because her voice suits them so PERFECTLY and she gave a great performance!  I already love the original and this was so faithful to the original.  Yeah definitely my favorite amongst the cover songs!

5. Uninstall

Another cover of a song I’m familiar with being originally sung by Chiaki Ishikawa, Uninstall is a song that’s covered a LOT these days, but it was a pretty big song back in the days.  nagi’s take is also done pretty well and once again I kind of sit on that seat where I actually would say nagi did better than Chiaki 0.o  Impressive cover as well!

6. Swallowtail Butterfly ~Ai no Uta~

OK, we all should know this song as well as it’s been covered from hell and back xD.  I already know nagi would sound 100 times better than Chara did with the original (as with most covers of this).  There’s not much else I can say here that I haven’t with the previous two tracks.  Though I guess it also has a little bit of bore, but I wasn’t too fond of the song to begin wih lol.

7. Kaze no Toori Michi

Finally, we get to a cover of Sayuri Horishita’s Kaze no Toori Michi and I hear acoustic guitar in this song which is nice to hear after an album full of synthetic sounds and piano (though the latter is found here).   I liked the relaxed tone of the track and nagi’s voice is very soft here.  I liked it, but I zoned out quickly after a while listening to it.  It’s nice if you’re into songs like this.

Tracks Recommended

  • Ambivalentidea
  • Zoetrope
  • Ao no Parade
  • light prayer
  • Strange Attractor

Song of Avoidance

  • Uso

Wow, for a debut album, yanaginagi struck gold here!  Euaru is such an amazing album that I’m surprised that it was just so well done overall.  There were a couple of boring tracks, but 90% of the album was pure gold and is worth a listen.  Now the second disc might be not as interesting (though the school food punishment cover is a MUST LISTEN).  I can’t wait to see what surprises she has in her 2nd era! *RECOMMENDED*

 

yanaginagi – Yukitoki November 22, 2013

Filed under: yanaginagi — solarblade @ 5:22 am

yukitoki

Track Listing

  1. Yukitoki
  2. Oto no Nai Yume
  3. Surréalisme
  4. Yukitoki (instrumental)
  5. Oto no Nai Yume (instrumental)
  6. Surréalisme (instrumental)

1. Yukitoki

I was curious to see how nagi would finish up this era and after “Zoetrope” I was so ready for whatever she was going to put out.  Unlike the previous A-side, she actually put out a rather pleasant anison tune with Yukitoki!  Her voice is lighter and sung in a higher register which is pretty nice but the only flaw for me is that it isn’t AS good as her previous four singles which is understandable IMO.  It’s not bad at least and suits with nagi’s style of music!

2. Oto no Nai Yume

The first B-side, is the dreamy Oto no Nai Yume and this kind of song really finds its way onto me and I just instantly find myself taken to this dreamscape because of the ethereal atmosphere and light, airy vocals from nagi that spoke so much more levels than it did on “Yukitoki”.  Very nice and one of her better B-sides!

3. Surréalisme

When I saw this title, I knew it was going to be something totally different and it really is because this has a certain ALI PROJECT flair about that I found unique and the almost French styled wackiness just stood out to me.  Add in the super quick lyrics from nagi also caught me off guard up until the chorus where it goes into this flowy and waltz-like side…but then goes back to this interesting sound in the verses.  I have to say, this amount of creativity always seems to impress me a LOT and it’s sad that this wasn’t the A-side because this could easily compete for best A-side of the era!

 

 

As nagi’s 5th and final single before her major label debut album “euaru”, Yukitoki might be nagi’s weakest A-side but it leveled up because of both B-sides here which were quite amazing songs in their own right!  Oto no Nai Yume being dreamy and very nice to sit back and listen while Surréalisme is just French abstract art is all I can say and I LOVED IT!!!  Though I’m sad it won’t be on the album >.<

 

yanaginagi – Zoetrope February 19, 2013

Filed under: yanaginagi — solarblade @ 9:56 pm

zoetrope

Track Listing

  1. Zoetrope
  2. Shinshin no Wataridori
  3. replica
  4. Zoetrope (instrumental)
  5. Shinshin no Wataridori (instrumental)
  6. replica (instrumental)

1. Zoetrope

I am just so surprised with Nagi now.  I mean “Laterality” was her first step into rock (solo-wise) but damn girl, she went heavy on it this time for Zoetrope.  It’s like I’m listening to someone else like Maon Kurosaki because she kind of has this tone to her and add the aggressive nature of the song and I found myself kind of mindblown with this.  It’s a new direction and I’m loving it because this song is so beautiful yet so hardcore!  I love it!!!

2. Shinshin no Wataridori

The B-side definitely calms things down after “Zoetrope” and kind of sounds like a lot like “Laterality”.  I mean it’s a pretty solid track overall and I do like she’s keeping with this anison rock style, but I found the latter to be more memorable (then again it was an A-side).  Not bad something I think I’ll enjoy with more listens.

3. replica

I found it strange that replica actually is so short here.  I mean only a little over two minutes, I didn’t think the track was going to be simple of a track with only Nagi and some piano accompanying her.  Simple and to the point, but doesn’t leave much of a impression on me lol.

Wow, Nagi just seems to have found her footing and continues to try new endeavors at the same time as with Zoetrope which is her edgiest song to date!  However she did slightly lose it in the B-sides.  Shinshin no Wataridori is good, but sounds similar to “Laterality” and replica was a bit too safe this time around.  Overall, not her best single but damn Zoetrope is an epic song!

 

yanaginagi – Laterality November 18, 2012

Filed under: yanaginagi — solarblade @ 5:33 am

Track Listing

  1. Laterality
  2. Shinjitsu no Hane
  3. link
  4. Laterality (instrumental)
  5. Shinjitsu no Hane (instrumental)
  6. link (instrumental)

1. Laterality

Hey, something upbeat and unique from Nagi!  After the last two singles, I wasn’t expecting Nagi to jump at the chance for something heavy and abstract like Laterality.  It kind of slightly reminds me of school food punishment, but less synthy and more focus on guitars and the bandwork.  I was pleasantly surprised by this track and for good reason…it’s edgy and cool and Nagi sounds so good here!

2. Shinjitsu no Hane

If you were looking for more of what Nagi was doing since her debut, then Shinjitsu no Hane might be more of your thing because it’s very ethereal and spacey in its construction.  I kind of like this woozy feel since it just relaxes your mind (makes for great background music as well).  Add Nagi’s soft vocals and it’s just a smooth-sailing track. 

3. link

I guess you can apply what I said about “Shinjitsu no Hane” here as well but not so much ethereal.  It’s actually quite experimental for her since there’s some odd things like the bleeps and bloops of the song and then phones ringing and a lot of filtering as well.  It’s unique for Nagi…just like the A-side….sweet deal…this song to me is a bit odd…but it’s quirky in its own way.

 

 

Nagi’s 3rd single appears and I’m just loving the hell out of Laterality since it’s edgy and rockin and almost sounds like it was a supercell production.  Since it isn’t, I’m even more impressed.  Shinjitsu no Hane is more of what we’ve heard from her in the last two singles which is consistent and still sounds spooky but cool.  link is something else and I like that it stood out to me the most on the single alongside Laterality.  This is her best single yet!!! *RECOMMENDED*