Kurayami Monogatari

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Yuya Matsushita – SEE YOU August 30, 2012

Filed under: Yuya Matsushita — solarblade @ 5:12 am

Track Listing

  1. SEE YOU
  2. BEAUTIFUL GIRL
  3. SEE YOU 89sec. (Animation Size Ver.)
  4. SEE YOU (Instrumental)

1. SEE YOU

Hmmm, Yuya once again starting his third era with a ballad for an A-side?  Either way, SEE YOU is kind of a pleasant song if not slightly cute in a way with the twinkling going on.  As simple as it sounds, I kind of like Yuya’s vocal performance in the song…it’s strong and he takes control in a nice way.  It’s quite nice and kind of better than a couple of ballads from “2U”.

2. BEAUTIFUL GIRL

For the B-side, BEAUTIFUL GIRL kind of represents the more bright and upbeat track on the single even though it’s not hi-energy.  It’s kind of that poppy and happy pop song that accuntuates such a title as BEAUTIFUL GIRL.  For me, it was OK, nothing that says memorable much but it’s a pleasant summery tune I guess.

 

 

Yuya returns with a single that kind of mirrors “Bird / 4 Seasons” in a way that the single is lead by a ballad while the B-side is more pop-based.  My surprise comes in the fact that the single doesn’t have version exclusive songs which is new but a good move for this single.  I liked SEE YOU quite a bit but BEAUTIFUL GIRL is kind of there…I don’t know but it’s a moderate start I guess.

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Yuya Matsushita – 2U February 22, 2012

Filed under: Yuya Matsushita — solarblade @ 10:32 am

Track Listing

  1. Theme of 2U
  2. SUPER DRIVE
  3. Naturally
  4. Beautiful Days
  5. INTERLUDE I
  6. 4 Seasons
  7. Paradise
  8. Life in the dark
  9. INTERLUDE II
  10. Last Dance ’06
  11. 2 of Us
  12. Kimi e no Love Song ~10nen Saki mo~
  13. Bird
  14. A Song For You
  15. Beauty & Beast
  16. Secret Love feat. BRIGHT, SHUN
  17. Step by Step

1. Theme of 2U

The album of course opens with an introduction and it’s kind of cool that it opens with a phone message and Yuya saying ~hello world~.  I thought it was kind of cute and the instrumental has this synthy feel to it (which is a thing he’s had has had a lot in this era.  Does set the album quite nicely right from the start.

2. SUPER DRIVE

Getting into our first batch of full songs, we begin the vocal songs with Yuya’s 4th A-side and it’s pretty much the “YOU” of the era.  Meaning it’s quite upbeat and has a heavy beat and some angsty lyrics from Yuya.  I still pretty enjoy in today but I still find the repetitive nature to be irking at points and the song reminds me of “Womanizer” still for some weird reason.  I still prefer “YOU” as the upbeat dance track and some others haha.

3. Naturally

Moving down to the third A-side, Naturally lightens up the mood by moving back towards an R&B style which actually sounds pleasant to my ears.  At first I was wondering who he collaborated with because it sounds there’s a girl singing along in the verses.  It’s a nice track and doesn’t offend anyone, I like it!

4. Beautiful Days

As the first of 6 new tracks (not counting the intro/interludes) I was wondering what they would sound like because the album is very heavy on A-sides/B-sides.  Though, I hate to say it, but what the hell happened here with Beautiful Days.  It sounds like almost late 80’s/early 90’s pop music.  You know corny lyrics and that sugary bounce that was relevant.  I like Yuya’s vocals in the song, but this is just a little too cheesy for me lol.

5. INTERLUDE I

Like his last album, there are interlude that are mainly piano-based interludes.  The first one plays off the melody of our last track, “Beautiful Days” but without the cheese factor so it sounds better with just only piano.  I hate to admit it but it didn’t work bridging the gap between the last track and our next one.

6. 4 Seasons

Considering that “Beautiful Days” is poppy, and INTERLUDE I was just a short piano entry, 4 Seasons is kind of odd because it went back to upbeat stuff.  Being a little more electronic than other songs on the album, it’s been a long while since I’ve heard this track (which was the secondary A-side from the first single of the era.  I love the synths in this song for sure and I loved Yuya’s vocals in this song since he was having fun.  There are times, where I felt where the music could’ve benefitted with a louder chorus, but I still enjoyed this a lot and could possibly stand as my favorite A-side of the era.

7. Paradise

Which is great because I’m happy they stuck Yuya’s 2nd A-side right after because of the similar bright/danceable atmosphere here.  I will say that there isn’t as much synths here which is cool and all that but it kind of feels like a bunch of other songs he’s done which kind of makes me frown a little bit.  It’s alright though and does fit perfectly after “4 Seasons”.

8. Life in the dark

I’m surprised he only chose two B-sides to make the album cut, even moreso that I wasn’t expecting this one to have been that XD.  It hasn’t been that long since I’ve reviewed it last and I still think that like “Paradise”, it’s a bit normal and to the book for him.  Though I will say the auto-tune at the beginning threw me off…but as for the rest of the song, I like it but not as much as some other songs here.

9. INTERLUDE II

Playing the melody of our next track for the INTERLUDE, I was happy it worked a bit better but more surprised that instead of piano, we get strings playing it!  It’s short but did its job quite nicely.

10. Last Dance ’06

Two more new tracks appear next starting with Last Dance ’06 which is considered the album’s first ballad (well, sort of).  I love the arrangement out of this one because it has a lot more strings involved and then I listen a bit more cloesly and it turns out that Yuya is singing the song entirely in English which is awesome!  Though he slurs quite a bit in the song, it doesn’t take away from the experience to be honest.  I fairly enjoyed this and the acoustic guitar solo was pretty too heh.

11. 2 of Us

Does this count as a title track?  I’m not sure, but our next new song is a bit like “Naturally” with the relaxed nature but still having a solid R&B beat going.  I’m starting to notice that the previous track, this one and the next two are the ballad section of the album so this is where I mostly like to slip in interest.  Instead of string like the last track, it’s piano-led.  It’s alright but I don’t remember anything important about it.

12. Kimi e no Love Song ~10nen Saki mo~

LOL at the fact it’s the only song on the album that’s written in kanji.  As the 5th A-side released, Kimi e no Love Song is like “2 of Us” but seeing as this came first this clearly was the better one in that case.  I liked it on the single because it was a while since we’ve had our last ballad A-side.  I also enjoyed it better than “Bird” too.  However, on the album and at this point my mind was kind of drifting away because of my boredom. 

13. Bird

I never expected to see Yuya begin his sophomore era with a ballad and Bird was so long ago I nearly forgot it existed.  If you haven’t guessed already by this point I’m barely awake and just trying to get through these songs quickly.  Given that there’s been SOOO many slow songs in this era, I was just kind of OK with this but seriously drove me to a slumber. 

14. A Song For You

Shaking the pending cobwebs off the album, A Song For You starts to move the album back to its danceable tunes which I’m totally grateful for.  It’s kind of poppy like “Beautiful Days” was but less cheap and sad of a song this time.  Once again, like “Naturally” it’s pleasant to the ears for sure but that chorus was a little weird…was he stressing his voice?

15. Beauty & Beast

Yup, the album is getting more into a synth-based atmosphere and Beauty & Beast took the good things from “A Song For You” and straightened it out and made it so much better.  I mean Yuya is actually rapping in the song (and not that weird stranger danger voice from the first album).  It’s a great track but is definitely surpassed by our next one.

16. Secret Love (feat. BRIGHT, SHUN)

If there was one track that deserved to be on the album that wasn’t an A-side, it was this one from “Paradise”…why?  It’s rare to see collaborative songs (that are B-sides) to not be on the album and it’s definitely Yuya’s BEST song in the entire era for me so I was ecstatic to see this on here, though near the end?!?  I love the punching beat of the song and it’s just aggressive (even more than “SUPER DRIVE” lol).  Add in the girls from BRIGHT who sound really hot in the song and SHUN’s rap and you got a great tune here!  Yeah, I’m stanning this song!

17. Step by Step

Finally reaching to the final song of the album, Step by Step basically halts the previous track quite abrasively it kind of sounds like a lot of the first half of the album…actually more like “Kimi e no Love Song” almost.  Just like most of the other new tracks, it’s nice but nothing that screams totally amazing.

Tracks Recommended

  • Secret Love (feat. BRIGHT, SHUN)
  • 4 Seasons
  • Beauty & Beast
  • Last Dance ’06
  • Naturally

Song of Avoidance

  • Beautiful Days

To me, I think the sophomore woes hit him.  I mean this is a solid ass album if I must say so but like the problem I had with “I AM ME”. it’s too filled with already known songs…then again 6 new songs (minus the intro/interludes) is nice.  I also felt that the songs weren’t leaving as big of marks as most of the songs did from his debut but he was consistent on the album and kind of made areas.  Though I don’t like the 4 slower/ballad songs squished together…nearly bored me to death.  Otherwise, it’s a good sophomore album, just not as great as his debut…though Secret Love slays everything in his discography as of this review LOL

 

Yuya Matsushita – Kimi e no Love Song ~10nen Saki mo~ January 24, 2012

Filed under: Yuya Matsushita — solarblade @ 6:39 pm

Track Listing

  1. Kimi e no Love Song ~10nen Saki mo~
  2. Life in the dark
  3. Dream on dreamer (Limited D only)
  4. Virtual World (Limited E only)
  5. Fuyuzora (Regular edition only)
  6. Kimi e no Love Song ~10nen Saki mo~ (Voiceless)

1. Kimi e no Love Song ~10nen Saki mo~

I wasn’t surprised that Kimi e no Love Song would be a ballad from him but I didn’t expect it to be R&B as well.  I loving the relaxed nature of this song to be honest and Yuya really fits here quite nicely.  I will say this is surprising because I haven’t been the biggest fan of his ballads to be honest hahaha.  Definitely better than “Bird” as a song actually…quite nice!

2. Life in the dark

Found on most editions of the single, the main B-side comes first in Life in the dark.  I wasn’t sure what to expect from this song but it kind of fits in more alongside “Naturally” actually since it’s a little more upbeat and kind of is a mid-tempo kind of song.  I have to say I get nostalgic 80’s vibes from the song and I’m enjoying the tune a while lot.  The guitar solo though was kind of out of place but not killing.  Pretty interesting B-side.

3. Dream on dreamer

Then we get into edition exclusive songs starting with Dream on dreamer.  I was happy to see that this was the first upbeat song which is something he definitely excels in.  It’s a bit lighter than songs like “SUPER DRIVE” and “Secret Love” but this still has a solid beat and a great synth drive.  I actually really like this song…

4. Virtual World

I was curious to what this song would bring because it was the only track that didn’t have a title when the single was announced.  It’s not as virtual as I thought it’d be and it goes weirder because Yuya is rapping in the song which is something I didn’t exactly know he could do lol.  I don’t know why but I’m kind of turned off by it hahaha.  I think it’s just too random for him to pull and he suffers from MC stale notes (you know rapping on the same note and not adding spice to it). 

5. Fuyuzora

Finally, closing out this single is the tune found on the regular edition of the single, Fuyuzora is another kind of ballad but a wintry one at that.  I’m kind of just like it’s alright, but nothing entirely special about the song.  I’m sure it would’ve been more interesting in the “I AM ME” era and not here…then again we already have “LAST SNOW”…

 

 

As the final single for the “2U” era, Kimi e no Love Song isn’t all that bad but I don’t know if I called this his best single of the era.  I have to say though that Dream on dreamer is his best song on this single since it’s upbeat and has great flow to it.  After that, I’d say Kimi e no Love Song was the next best for it’s soohing atmosphere and good vocals.  Life in the dark is good too and brings us a nostalgic trip ^_^.  Fuyuzora and Virtual World though were kind of mediocre and forgetful overall (plus Yuya rapping is weiiiiird).  Now I’m curious to see what songs will make the cut for this album!

 

Yuya Matsushita – SUPER DRIVE August 25, 2011

Filed under: Yuya Matsushita — solarblade @ 12:56 am

Track Listing

  1. SUPER DRIVE
  2. ROCK WITH YOU (Regular Edition only)
  3. Hot Girl!! (Limited Edition only)
  4. Lonely Rain (Limited Edition + Photobook only)
  5. SUPER DRIVE (Vocalless)

1. SUPER DRIVE

I’m so happy Yuya made SUPER DRIVE an A-side because it’s just what he needed after the slower songs he released so far in this era (minus “4 Seasons”).  The beats are pretty heavy and Yuya has a lot of energy into his singing but there’s a lot of repetition in the song but it’s not too annoying really.  I do get Brit’s “Womanizer” vibes from the song but I don’t think it’s too lame.  Good song overall.

2. ROCK WITH YOU

No the song isn’t a rock track unfortunately, but more of a danceable R&B song that kind of has this funky rhythm that would be fitting to Michael Jackson tune and it oddly works because Yuya’s vocals sound so much more stronger than the previous song.  It’s sultry, groovy, and just fits the mood right…Ok, honestly this was so much better than “SUPER DRIVE”.  I think Michael Jackson would be proud of this cover for sure ^_^

3. Hot Girl!!

I’m not totally sure where to place Hot Girl!! exactly because it’s not heavy like “SUPER DRIVE” but it’s not as sensual like “ROCK WITH YOU” so I guess it’s in the middle right now.  I like the summery vibes from the song but there’s just something that doesn’t seem right about the song.  I’m not totally sure but it doesn’t seem to pop like the other three songs off the single.

4. Lonely Rain

After three upbeat songs we come to the Photobook only song off the single and it’s a damn ballad…well close enough to one because it’s more of an R&B flavored ballad.  It does sound relaxing and simple enough with Yuya being great singing along.  It does stand out just because it’s a ballad DUH!  It’s simple but with all those slower songs off the last single, “Naturally”, this kind of is a bit boring.

 

 

 

Yuya’s 3rd single of the era did slightly step up from his last single but then again it didn’t have covers galore all over it.  The main track might sound familiar but it’s another great dance track from Yuya and that’s a start.  ROCK WITH YOU though remains the single’s best song just for being so silky smooth and calm to listen to.  Hot Girl!! and Lonely Rain were alright but I found myself forgetting both since they were missing some things to make em great.

 

Yuya Matsushita – Naturally May 8, 2011

Filed under: Yuya Matsushita — solarblade @ 9:02 pm

Track Listing

  1. Naturally
  2. Back To Love
  3. Donna Toki mo. (Limited Edition NO.1 only)
  4. Himitsu no Hanazono (Limited Edition NO.2 only)
  5. Kisetsu ga Kimi Dake wo Kaeru (Limited Edition NO.3 only)
  6. Kowarekaku no Radio (Limited Edition NO.4 only)
  7. Love Story wa Totzuzen ni (Limited Edition NO.5 only)
  8. Yume de Aetara (Limited Edition NO.6 only)
  9. Naturally (Vocalless)

1. Naturally

I really loved the fact that Naturally takes us back to Yuya’s early style of just some R&B to listen to.  There’s some interesting things going on in the song like some female vocals and a whole lot of acoustic guitar to drive the song along.  It’s kind of cute in a way and I loved Yuya’s vocals in this song a lot more than “Bird” and “Paradise”. 

2. Back To Love

As the main B-side of the single, Back to Love begins why I’m not a big fan of this single.  From here on out the songs are rather slow and range on being mid-tempos for the most part.  To me, it doesn’t grab my attention like “Naturally” did and that’s a bit unfortunate since it’s that slow and uneventful.  I guess the chorus is the best thing about the song, but it’s still not very strong.

3. Donna Toki mo.

The rest of the single came in 6 different limited editions with each one harboring a cover song of various male performers and groups.  The first one is a bit better than “Back To Love” in the way that’s back into the slower R&B style.  It feels natural (no pun intended) to him it seems because his vocals sound relaxed and sweet and charming to listen to.  Pretty good cover from what I see.

4. Himitsu no Hanazono

Which leads into the next problem I suppose about our next song.  At first, I immediately thought it was another “Donna Toki mo.” at first, but then it turned into the fastest and kind of fun at the end of the day.  Even though the arrangement is quite bare until the chorus where it gains this island vibe, it’s still pretty nice of a song and best of the covers IMO.

5. Kisetsu ga Kimi Dake wo Kaeru

This really does scream oldies from the start sicne it has this aged feeling to it for some reason.  However, I don’t like this track very much because it drags the entire time and feels like the tempo could’ve been pumped a little more…I guess the chorus is a little catchy but the rest of the song is just a blur to me

6. Kowarekaku no Radio

Great, we get another ballad to deal with.  However, it’s actually not that bad of a song and the dramatic touches found throughout the tune is quite powerful in a way.  I really liked Yuya’s vocals again the most about the song but the arrangement is actually just as good….I still do think “Himitsu no Hanazono” slightly does better, but that’s just me being me of course XD

7. Love Story wa Totzuzen ni

Sadly, the next song we have starts out quietly like a ballad before turning into another mid-tempo R&B track which is starting to drag me down just a little bit.  Yuya does sing the song in a more soothing tone but it seemed to only make the verses a bit boring in places while the chorus put a little more effort going on.  I will say the string bass was pretty damn sweet to hear but otherwise this is forgettable.

8. Yume de Aetara

Finally closing the single off is actually a cover I’ve known I’ve seen somewhere within my other artists…Anyways, this cover is just like a bunch of other songs with a chilled out mid-tempo.  Very forgetful to be honest and it just doesn’t really do much for him that hasn’t been appreciated in the other covers.

As it’s Yuya’s longest single to date, Naturally isn’t really that amazing especially after “Paradise”.  The main song was good of course and up to par with the other A-side but the B-side and the multiple covers didn’t really feel like he was giving he all.  Maybe one or two at the most, but this single felt quite blah for me.

 

Yuya Matsushita – Paradise February 3, 2011

Filed under: Yuya Matsushita — solarblade @ 3:05 pm

Track Listing

  1. Paradise
  2. Kimi no Koe
  3. Secret Love (feat. BRIGHT,SHUN)
  4. Loving Loved
  5. Paradise (Vocalless)
  6. Kimi no Koe (Vocalless)
  7. Secret Love (Vocalless)

1. Paradise

To me, Paradise is Yuya’s happiest A-side released yet and I’m happy he chose this to sing this song because it’s soft and fun to listen to because of the pretty upbeat arrangement that comes with the song.  He just sounds so right with the music and his vocals aren’t terrible either.  I’d say it’s a great song for like summer days…even though it’s still winter here.

2. Kimi no Koe

Found on all three editions of the single, Kimi no Koe continues this rather summery feel and while it’s slightly more upbeat than “Paradise”, it oddly comes off the same exact way as I felt for the last track.  The synths are a little more out there and so are the strings, but it feels like an upgraded version of the A-side lol.

3. Secret Love (feat. BRIGHT,SHUN)

Found on the CD+Photobook & CD+DVD editions, Secret Love really is a surprise for me since the song actually takes a more electro/8-bit feel and I was just surprised at the energy from the entire song.  Even the collaboration with BRIGHT was a nice surprise since they give the song a sexy gloss.  Now…SHUN…I don’t even know who he is, but he’s the song’s rapper for the song and he’s kind of interesting and his part is quite cool…and it just glued together for a great track!  Kind of like how I felt with “4 Seasons”.

4. Loving Loved

Found only on the Regular edition of the single, Loving Loved is the single’s only relatively mid-tempo song and it might be a little eh for me since it’s not the most exciting song he has.  I mean I can see choreography done with this song, but it’s kind of eh.  The arrangement is just not doing anything for me and while Yuya for the most part sounds great, it just wasn’t enough to make the song a little better.

Three dance tracks for a single?  Wow!  Ok, enough of that, Paradise is definitely a step-up after his last single, “Bird/4 Seasons” since the single is mostly catchy songs.  Paradise and Kimi no Koe might be a little similar too each other, but they have hooks to their own accord and I liked em.  With Secret Love, he gave the listeners another blast of the electro side he presented back with “4 Seasons” and while Loving Loved was the single’s meh track, it’s more of what we got from “I AM ME”.  I’d say he’s on for another strong era it seems hehe.

 

Yuya Matsushita – Bird/4 Seasons September 1, 2010

Filed under: Yuya Matsushita — solarblade @ 5:35 am

Track Listing

  1. Bird
  2. 4 Seasons
  3. L.o.L. (CD only)
  4. Bird (TV SIZE) (Anime Edition only)
  5. Bird (Instrumental) (Anime Edition only)

1. Bird

After gaining some steam with his last two single, we kind of abruptly stop and we get Bird which is a ballad for Yuya.  After hearing his ballads from his debut era, Bird kind of comes off as a little vanilla because it doesn’t exactly stand out amongst his stronger ones.  I did like the chorus since it fits as an ending theme.  I do like his vocals though in the song and it’s one of the vocally stronger ones he’s done for sure.  Still, I liked most of his ballads more.

2. 4 Seasons

Now 4 Seasons would continue this line of interesting dance tunes that we’ve been getting recently.  It’s so funny because some of the synths in the arrangement remind me of Ayaka Hirahara’s remix for “Keropak”.  I like the cool disco theme going here and once again falling in love with Yuya’s vocals but “YOU” still overthrows it quite easily.

3. L.o.L.

As a song only found on the CD only version of the single, L.o.L. (Love or Lust in meaning), kind of falls in between the two previous song since it’s not a hard dance track but it isn’t a full ballad.  This reminds me of like “Mr. “Broken Heart”” in how it’s like very beat-driven but at a comfortable level.  Mid-tempo songs work for Yuya quite a bit.

 

 

Beginning a new era off, Bird/4 Seasons kicks things off smoothly.  It isn’t his best single, but I do like he’s being consistent and releasing good quality music.  Bird might be a little forgettable, but I can deal with that since both 4 Seasons and L.o.L. were better songs for sure.  If Yuya can keep this up he’ll be big one day.