Kurayami Monogatari

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YUI – fight September 5, 2012

Filed under: YUI — solarblade @ 6:23 am

Track Listing

  1. fight
  2. If you
  3. Happy Birthday to you you ~YUI Acoustic Version~
  4. fight ~Instrumental~

1. fight

It’s been quite a while since YUI released her last single and fight is actually a nice way to return to things.  I was kind of hoping the song would’ve been another “again” where it’s super aggressive and YUI is just rocking out.  What we got was a mid-tempo acoustic track and I kind of find myself not really being intrigued by the tune very much.  I will say that her vocals sound great but the song isn’t remarkable for me. 

2. If you

Oh hey, there’s the song that I kind of wanted.  If you picks up the pace after “fight” and it sounds like YUI was having fun in the song and it’s pretty catchy to listen to.  Sadly, the song is extremely short at 2:45 in length which follows some of YUI’s other B-sides in how short they are.  It’s a great song!

3. Happy Birthday to you you ~YUI Acoustic Version~

Sadly, I have not heard the original track from “CAN’T BUY MY LOVE” so I can’t really compare here.  I have to say this is one of my favorite acoustic renditions because the song keeps things plain and simple and there’s other instruments that I like here as well.  Cute but not cheesy cute if you get my drift.

 

 

It feels like it’s been quite a while since we’ve had YUI release something.  Sadly, fight might not be the song to start a new era with because it just isn’t pinging my interest level any.  If you though made up for that quite nicely, but its shortcoming comes in the form of it’s TOO SHORT!  Which leaves us with the acoustic version of appy Birthday to you you which actually sounds pretty awesome.  Hope things get better!

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YUI – HOW CRAZY YOUR LOVE November 2, 2011

Filed under: YUI — solarblade @ 2:53 am

Track Listing

  1. HELLO
  2. Separation
  3. Get Back Home
  4. Lock On
  5. U-niform
  6. Cooking
  7. Rain
  8. Good night
  9. YOU
  10. It’s My Life
  11. no Reason
  12. Nobody Knows
  13. Green a.live

1. HELLO

Starting the album with YUI’s 3rd A-side released, HELLO is an interesting tune to start things since it’s pretty upbeat and while it’s one of the weaker songs of the era.  It’s just because of the fact that YUI’s vocals were really stressed in the song and those high notes in the chorus were just terrible, let’s be honest.  It’s like she recorded this song while she was sick or something. 

2. Separation

The next five songs are new which is awesome and cleans the tastebuds of the fact that “HELLO” was just meh.  Separation is first and it joins with the other tracks that have been upbeat.  I think it’s definitely a bit more of a solid intro track than “HELLO” was and I do find the way she pronounces ~separation~ to be a little on the weird side, but this has charm for sure.

3. Get Back Home

After two upbeat songs, Get Back Home comes in and marks itself as the first ballad on the album.  It’s kind of a simple sounding song with acoustic guitar, piano, drums, and strings.  To me it sounds quite pretty but the thing that turned me off was YUI’s tone in her vocals.  It’s like airy but kind of ick as well.  I’m just turned off by the song by the time the second chorus hits unfortunately.

4. Lock On

Lock On is the album’s promotional tune and since I missed watching the PV to see how the song turned out, I guess it’s now or never right?  It starts out like “Get Back Home” in the way it’s slow-moving and doesn’t really moves forward.  Luckily, the song peps up in the chorus and gets pretty exciting.  Besides the fake-sounding the trumpets, this song surprised me and after the previous tracks with the poor vocals this is a good return to the YUI I enjoy!

5. U-niform

U-niform to me sounds like it’d be something that’d be found on her previous album, “HOLIDAYS IN THE SUN”.  I’m not sure why but it just gives me feelings of that sound she had in that album.  It’s pretty basic song-wise for YUI and so it might come off as redundant to older YUI fans to be honest.  To me it’s alright, but nothing special.

6. Cooking

I find this funny that she named a song Cooking…it just makes me think that I should stick a mama at the end of it right LOL!  It’s the kind of laid-back easy kind of song to listen to and that’s great and YUI also doesn’t stress herself out as much either.  To be honest, it kind of comes of as close to a lullaby to my ears.  It’s a pretty nice song to sway to I must say.

7. Rain

Yay for Rain to come next since it is the first A-side of the era.  I like that it finally brings the more aggressive arrangements in even though I think it might be the only song that’s near “again” in fierceness on the album.  While YUI’s vocals are a little on the weak side of things, it doesn’t bother me as in other songs as much and the melody of the song is very strong.  It’s definitely ranks up there with fav A-side with “Green a.live”.

8. Good night

An interlude for YUI?  I’m surprised there’s one on this album.  Even though it’s roughly 40 seconds long and it only features piano and YUI singing.  It’s not much in the way of rememberance but I guess it’s supposed to bridge “Rain” and “YOU”.  Though it doesn’t make sense either XD

9. YOU

Like I just said, “Good night” seemed to be unecessary just because both this B-side from “HELLO ~Paradise Kiss~” and “Rain” are more serious sounding tunes while the interlude was just purely quiet haha.  I’m curious to why she added YOU to the album since it’s rare to see B-sides make the cut.  It’s light like the other tunes which fits the mood of the album and since it was the best of the B-sides chosen, I don’t have many qualms about the song.

10. It’s My Life

I’m still getting over how odd It’s My Life actually turned out since reviewing YUI I haven’t came across such a slap-happy kind of song hahaha.  I mean I could see that “Lock On” probably came from some of this song, but this song is ridiculous in the fact that she used fake brass in the song haha.  It just sounded kind of cheesy.  However, after the gloomy songs before this, it’s a nice change of mood and I kind of did find myself enjoying the song minus the odd brassy-ness goin on!

11. no Reason

At this point of the album, I start to kind of fade away from the album since my attention starts to move elsewhere.  no Reason doesn’t remedy the situation at hand since it’s a lot like “U-niform” which isn’t too good to have IMO.  Vocally, YUI is alright and she seems to be in a rather comfortable place, but otherwise I just don’t remember this song.

12. Nobody Knows

I guess “Rain” isn’t the only edgy song on the album it seems.  Nobody Knows might not be as powerful as the that song but it’s got spark and has this American-styled sound going for it and it makes me happy that there’s at least one of those kind of songs on here.  Still a little forgetful in the long run, but it’s better than a couple of other songs at least.

13. Green a.live

I’m happy that she chose Green a.live to close the album since to me it was the best of the era (not adding up the fact that the song was for the big earthquake that happened earlier in the year).  It’s just a pretty song with strings and acoustic guitar together and YUI just sounding really pretty.  Also the outlook of the song is more hopeful and positive and that’s great that it came off like that musically and vocally.  Great song to close the album too!

Tracks Recommended

  • Green a.live
  • Lock On
  • Rain
  • Cooking
  • It’s My Life

Song of Avoidance

  • HELLO

Now I really think this would be a good time for YUI to take a LOOOONG break.  I think she’s losing her touch again since HOW CRAZY YOUR LOVE to me did not stand out at all unlike “HOLIDAYS IN THE SUN”.  I mean the singles were good for the most part (with the exception of “HELLO” which was a vocal kill).  I think her vocals on this album sound more tired and stressed more than ever in some songs and the arrangements were just not as great in the new tracks mostly.  Not good!

 

YUI – Green a.live October 2, 2011

Filed under: YUI — solarblade @ 9:49 pm

Track Listing

  1. Green a.live
  2. Let’s face it
  3. HELLO ~YUI acoustic version~
  4. Green a.live ~Instrumental~

1. Green a.live

I like Green a.live for some reason.  I mean it isn’t as random as some of the previous A-sides of the era so it’s basically YUI back to basics with the case of this song and add that it’s more of a ballad really worked here.  Strings and acoustic guitar might be a bit overload, but it’s still really pretty to listen to since if I remember this right, she’s singing roughly about the situation of the earthquake.  Even if I didn’t know about that, I like this song either way.  It’s a great A-side to listen to!

2. Let’s face it

Unlike the slow-paced feel of “Green a.live”, Let’s face it is more louder and rockin’ for YUI and it has this cool feel to it that talks to me quite nicely.  I’m also liking the fact I’m hearing YUI in a deeper tone as well.  Sadly, after a while it kind of gets redundant and it feels repetitive for some reason…I don’t know…I’m not a fan of this B-side lol.

3. HELLO ~YUI acoustic version~

So we get an acoustic version of HELLO (which is her last A-side of course).  I actually once again find myself adoring the acoustic version over the original and it actually sounds better this way because YUI doesn’t sound as off-putting as she did on the original cut.  She does have problems still with those high notes but they aren’t painful to listen to IMO.  Catchy, I must say.

 

 

As YUI’s closes the era, the final single represented was alright but nothing better than “Rain” unfortunately.  I really enjoyed the light and positive Green a.live and it might be the best of the A-sides, but the B-side actually disappointed me since it kind of got annoying after a while.  At least the acoustic take of HELLO was nice and was an upgrade after the original!

 

YUI – HELLO ~Paradise Kiss~ June 1, 2011

Filed under: YUI — solarblade @ 2:43 am

Track Listing

  1. HELLO ~Paradise Kiss~
  2. YOU
  3. It’s My Life ~YUI Acoustic Version~
  4. HELLO ~Instrumental~

1. HELLO ~Paradise Kiss~

It seems that YUI has really lightened up after the serious factors of the last era.  HELLO isn’t as jaw-droppingly cute like her last A-side released, but it’s still an interesting song nonetheless.  It’s kind of simple of a song really, but the thing that kind of just made me slightly tilt my head was how off YUI’s vocals sounded here….like she was struggling with the song for some reason.  It’s alright, but something about this song sounds rather not pleasant.

2. YOU

As the single’s B-side, YOU is a nice switch from the happier and upbeat A-side to the more serious and forlorning song.  I find it so much better to hear YUI’s vocals here since they don’t sound like she’s in pain trying to sing here.  The fact that there’s strings, piano, and of course acoustic guitar is nice as well.  So much better than the A-side for sure.

3. It’s My Life ~YUI Acoustic Version~

So to keep the single afloat, It’s My Life of course gets the acoustic version and well it’s at least not as random as its original counterpart.  I love the lighter vibes in this version and YUI sounds quite good singing the song in a more comfortable atmosphere. 

 

 

YUI’s third single for the era was I guess alright, but slightly better than her last single at least.  HELLO was pretty bad on her vocals and it really showed quite a bit despite having a fun arrangement backing it up.  YOU was a lot better and goes back to the previous era with such serious stuff and the acoustic take on It’s My Life wasn’t bad really…ehhhhh im ok with the single I guess.

 

YUI – It’s My Life/Your Heaven January 25, 2011

Filed under: YUI — solarblade @ 5:59 am

Track Listing

  1. It’s My Life
  2. Your Heaven
  3. Rain ~YUI Acoustic Version~
  4. It’s My Life ~Instrumental~

1. It’s My Life

I’m surprised at how joyous and upbeat It’s My Life is because of the whole brassy feel that almost makes me wanna say YUI wanted this track to be slightly latin in sound, but kind of lightly sprinkled.  Either way, I wasn’t expecting something happy from YUI especially after “Rain”…I’m still kind of shocked at the change of moods here…I will say that YUI’s vocals were of course at their calibur and added to the festive arrangement.  I’m already sensing this era is going to be something refreshing for her.

2. Your Heaven

For the second A-side, Your Heaven is a much quieter song from YUI and while ballads are one of the more weaker points for her since her vocals don’t seem to fit right in that style, it shows that off as well since she hits some notes offkey.  Even though the song is slow, there’s enough oomph to make it pop out at me besides YUI’s higher set vocals.  I guess it’s alright.

3. Rain ~YUI Acoustic Version~

Falling back into doing acoustic takes of previous A-sides, Rain of course felt right with having something like this and while she does this continuously, she gets this one right at least and I fell in love with it again.  YUI’s softer vocals didn’t feel forced like in “Your Heaven” so it’s already a step up.  Good acoustic take here!

As the second single for the era It’s My Life/Your Heaven is probably YUI’s weakest single she’s had in quite a while, but then again she did take a pretty interesting risk by making It’s My Life so sugary cute and festive and then failing in the vocal department for Your Heaven.  At least the new version of Rain took the cake at least…hope she picks it up on the next single!

 

YUI – Rain November 23, 2010

Filed under: YUI — solarblade @ 6:49 pm

Track Listing

  1. Rain
  2. a room
  3. How crazy ~YUI Acoustic Version~
  4. Rain ~Instrumental~

1. Rain

I wasn’t sure what YUI would pull off next after her fourth album, but with Rain she keeps the good A-sides rolling.  I guess since she played with the piano a little bit, you hear a bit of it in the song with of course YUI’s guitar skills and it sounds great together.  There’s some places that reminds me of “again”, but otherwise the song is a fun ride for me and I liked how it turned out.

2. a room

Not really changing a lot in instruments for a room, I liked the softer side for this song since it lets YUI sing a little more comfortably (she sounded airy for a bit in “Rain”).  I think a room could be considered a ballad, but it’s fast for one so I’m not sure.  Still it’s a very pleasant listen and stands out amongst her other B-sides I’ve heard.

3. How crazy ~YUI Acoustic Version~

Now if I understand right, this is actually a first for YUI in which she decides to make an acoustic cut of an old, old song (seeing as How crazy came from her sophomore album, “CAN’T BUY MY LOVE”.  I actually don’t remember “HOLIDAYS OF THE SUN” having a promotional track either…hmmm…well there was “Please Stay With Me”, I wonder why that didn’t get an acoustic version.  Either way, the song is of course of sweetness since it sounds so good under acoustic guitar.  Pretty sweet song and I’m sure the original is awesome!

Quickly starting off a new era, Rain continues to show a steady slew of amazing A-sides.  I like the fact that she could make something stand out so well…even though it’s a Christmas tune…it really doesn’t come off as such.  a room was just as nice as well being the slower of the two, but she kept it simple enough and that’s a good enough reason, plus she sounds better in it.  As for the How crazy acoustic version, it might have lost the full blown out energy that made the original pop out, but it’s still an impressive version.

 

YUI – HOLIDAYS IN THE SUN July 12, 2010

Filed under: YUI — solarblade @ 10:20 pm

Track Listing

  1. to Mother
  2. again
  3. Parade
  4. es.car
  5. Shake My Heart
  6. GLORIA
  7. I do it
  8. Please Stay With Me
  9. SUMMER SONG
  10. Cinnamon
  11. Driving Happy Life
  12. It’s all too much
  13. Kiss me

1. to Mother

I thought it was pretty sweet of YUI to begin the album with her ode to her mommy.  Released as the fifth single of the era, to Mother is a pretty drastic change for YUI as it’s the only song on the album to have not sight of guitars around.  As personal as the song is, for me it’s just a regular piano ballad with YUI’s vocals.  If that makes sense then you know what to expect.

2. again

Strange to see again coming after “to Mother”…talk about a mood swing of random proportions.  Since it was the opening for the remake of FMA, I thought this was a pretty cool song.  So we actually begin YUI’s album with this song hahaha, and again sounds definitely like her other great anime tie-in tunes.  I think when YUI sings in the bridge was just epicly fast and hectic too and I loved that the most about this song.

3. Parade

As the first new song off the album and the shortest as well, Parade calms things quite a bit after “again” and while it’s another rift in the album, Parade is a nice little tune.  I do like the keyboarded stuff here though.  Otherwise a short and sweet tune here.

4. es.car

When I saw the title I was like…”where’s the ending part, you know escargot?”  That would be an uber strange title.  I do like that the energy is back up again and it seems besides the acoustic guitar, there’s some strings added here for some added effect.  It’s actually not too bad of a song and YUI keeps things moving in a pretty good way.

5. Shake My Heart

I think Shake My Heart would’ve been better if there was no brass involved at all in this song.  I know that without them, it’d be a little too plain to listen to, but to me the trumpets and etc. is taking the experience away.  The background vocals too are just a bit unneeded as well for me.  It might be the song played during encores and such because of the way it works but otherwise, it’s not that good for me.

6. GLORIA

I think of the A-sides released in the era, I think I love GLORIA the most since it’s got a great build to it and there’s so many catchy parts present in the song.  Like the damn chorus which is a bunch of repeating, but it still comes off really nice and powerful for a YUI song.  I approve of this song entirely.

7. I do it

If you don’t know how special this song is, basically this is Stereopony’s 3rd single A-side.  What makes it special was that it was penned and created by YUI herself and my problem with Stereopony’s version was that it lacked that spark that YUI songs usually have and seeing her self-cover it would be interesting.  By first listen, I was sold because it actually sounds more energetic and YUI’s vocals sound a whole lot better than AIMI’s.  Definitely the superior version.

8. Please Stay With Me

It seems we get into our emo songs with Please Stay With Me because the arrangement sounds a bit darker and more longing than songs previous.  I do like when she starts spurring these kind of songs because they usually bring the best out of her and once again does it quite well.  I think out of the new songs this one impressed me the most.

9. SUMMER SONG

How many riffs does this album really need?  SUMMER SONG definitely is the song that probably shouldn’t have made the cut even though it does fit the timing of the release.  SUMMER SONG came out before YUI went on her short hiatus.  While yes it is the happiest song and is about the summer, this song just doesn’t have that spark that was there when she returned with “again”.  Her vocals are quite abrasive in some places (mostly those high notes that she can’t get right).  Still it’s my least favorite of the A-sides.

10. Cinnamon

Another short tune off the album, Cinnamon is just a lighthearted as “SUMMER SONG” but without the bad stuff going for it.  I mean the synths added gave it a more stronger summer feel, but at least she was consistent through the song and doesn’t sound messy overall.

11. Driving Happy Life

I’m surprised she’s sticking her happy tunes near the end of the album, but Driving Happy Life is a little more serious than “SUMMER SONG” and “Cinnamon”.  I kind of like it, but yes, it sounds like most of her stuff before this album so it just comes off a bit stale perhaps?  I don’t know but at least it keeps the flow going.

12. It’s all too much

I guess it was fitting to have the part of the 3rd single that was good, make it onto the album.  I always forget about this release since it wasn’t too big on my radar initially.  It’s all too much though is definitely the wise choice here since it’s rocking and kind of anime-ish like “again”.  It’s got a much stronger guitar hook though which is always a good thing hahaha.

13. Kiss me

Ending off the album, Kiss me takes things back to a sort of mid-tempo sound and I love YUI’s try at making an airy sound come from her normal voice and it actually worked for me since some of the song is in English as well.  It does perhaps sound a little better with AIMI from Stereopony fronting the song, but YUI sounds good here as well.

Tracks Recommended

  • GLORIA
  • Please Stay With me
  • It’s all too much
  • Cinnamon
  • again

Song of Avoidance

  • SUMMER SONG

As my first YUI album reviewed, HOLIDAYS IN THE SUN is a pretty good album.  While I can’t fully go back and make assumptions on which album is the best, I think we all know it fixed the problems, “I LOVED YESTERDAY” had and I was happy about that, but there’s still some songs that just doesn’t have oomph to em…but I’m ok with it.