Kurayami Monogatari

Would love a comment every so often <<

Tsubaki Factory – Hatsukoi Sunrise/Just Try!/Uruwashi no Camellia February 18, 2017

Filed under: Tsubaki Factory — solarblade @ 5:41 am

hatsukoisunrise

Track Listing

  1. Hatsukoi Sunrise
  2. Just Try!
  3. Uruwashi no Camellia
  4. Hatsukoi Sunrise (Instrumental)
  5. Just Try! (Instrumental)
  6. Uruwashi no Camellia (Instrumental)

1. Hatsukoi Sunrise

Ah, opening the single up, we have Hatsukoi Sunrise (which ironically was the last of the 3 songs revealed, yet first to have its PV released hm..).  I will say of the three songs on the single, this one actually impressed me the most because it was a strong song and the fire of the arrangement and power of some of the vocalists was more impressive.  While it does show that Kiki is a prominent member here in the track we got to hear a lot of the other members and the three newbies (Mao, Saori, and Mizuho) definitely joined with a punch as well especially Mizuho who had a pretty awesome solo!  Though Saorin and Maopin also had strong lines too.  If you like some high-speed EDM dance tracks, I’d say this is one of the better ones out there!

2. Just Try!

Moving to the first A-side revealed back in November, Just Try! is a little more of what we’ve been getting from the group during their indies run.  Though as the song is from Tsunku, the EDM is a bit more contrived and simple though at the same time, it does struggle with some other songs by sounding like 3-4 songs pasted together in random ala songs like “Brainstorming” and “Aitte Motto Zanshin” from the other H!P groups.  I thought we had moved on from that, but seems not.  I do like the opening sections with the focus on the beat, but the robotic verses to the kind of chintzy chorus just made it feel a bit sloppy.  It’s my least favorite from the single, but there’s been worse.

3. Uruwashi no Camellia

Last, but not least, Uruwashi no Camellia closes the single out in a rather unique and new style for the group to try out.  I wasn’t expecting ragtime to be the style of one of their A-sides, but hey it’s a thing.  I do like how cute and upbeat the track is, but I definitely was thrown off by the song being filtered to sound like it was being played via a phonograph.  Though once the chorus kicks in, the filter drops and the tune clears up and it sounds playful and adorable.  Add in that the solos in the 2nd set of verses is cute and happy to see Riko, Ami, Kisora, and Risa get them lines is awesome (actually all 9 members get a decent line so that’s great!).  Though it’s strange that because of the filtered part in the first verse of the song, the rest of the track feels oddly short…am I the only one who feels this way?

 

 

Long time coming, but we finally have a major label debut from Tsubaki Factory!  Though since the last review (“Hitorijime/Watashi ga Obasan ni Nattemo”), the group had added three new members into the mix.  What I can say is that I feel like Saori & Mizuho will be more fortification to the vocals as both members seem to have lower tones than majority of the rest of the group while Mao is more for visuals (she accels at dancing, but her voice isn’t quite at the levels that other members like Yumeno, Risa, and Kiki have).  As for the single, I liked Hatsukoi Sunrise the most as it’s powerful and just showcases a lot of cool from the girls like “Kedakaku Sakihokore!” did.  Uruwashi no Camellia is a unique song for the group and it’s cute, but I think the filtered section could’ve been lessened or personally left out.  As for Just Try!, it’s a messy song…feels like a 2013-15 song from Tsunku and just felt like it was a shelved song from then brought back to life.  Overall, great major debut and I pretty excited to see where things go for the group!

 

Kaya – Perfana February 10, 2017

Filed under: Kaya — solarblade @ 6:59 am

perfana

Track Listing

  1. Perfana
  2. Crescent Moon
  3. Frosty Rain (Regular only)

1. Perfana

Opening with a rush of sound and synths, Kaya kicks off with Perfana and it feels like he hadn’t let on hiatus as long as he did because Perfana is more of the electro sound that we’ve gotten accustomed to.  I do like the gothic vibes with the strings and piano being blasted with deep bass and dance beats.  It does sound a bit standard considering it’s Kaya and all, but this is a pretty cool track and a nice way to come back!

2. Crescent Moon

The B-side, Crescent Moon though is more along the lines of what Kaya can come up with by experimenting and Crescent Moon is a little more lighter in arrangement and ironically, the arrangement makes me think of Erasure (a UK synth/new wave group).  I do LOVE the glow of the song and the dreamscape-like atmosphere on top of Kaya’s whispy vocals that filter throughout.  It’s a neat song and one of the ones that stick out in his discography!

3. Frosty Rain

So the regular editions of the single came with a bonus track in Frosty Rain and funny enough, unlike both of the previous tracks, it’s without any synths or dance beats, actually it’s a natural-sounding ballad with acoustic guitar and string/piano.  If anything it reminds me of an ending theme to an anime with some of the chord progressions and the growth of the song.  It’s pretty unusual to say the least but Kaya sounds amazing here…still anison??

After being on a hiatus for about 2 years, Kaya returns with a new single in Perfana and it’s more progression on his career I’d say.  Perfana seems a little of the usual fare from him, but that’s not such a bad thing in this case, though I much preferred Crescent Moon as it has a very pleasant and flowing sound to it and Kaya’s soothing vocals just matched it perfectly.  Frosty Rain is a bit weird I can’t deny and the anison-like tones were different but not displeasing since Kaya killed it with his powerful vocals.  Let’s hope he’s working on more material now!

 

UVERworld – Itteki no Eikyou

Filed under: UVERworld — solarblade @ 6:36 am

ittekinoeikyuu

Track Listing

  1. Itteki no Eikyou
  2. Emu
  3. Forever Young (AK-69 feat. UVERworld)
  4. CORE PRIDE
  5. REVERSI
  6. Itteki no Eikyou (short ver.)
  7. Emu (short ver.)

1. Itteki no Eikyou

Leading the single off, Itteki no Eikyou starts off with a pretty cool intro from TAKUYA, but then it leads into this kind of mix of acoustic rock/synth splotches/and anison…with bongos?  Yeah, the track is a weird amalgamation of various ideas and while this worked in some of their older works, I don’t think it worked in Itteki no Eikyou…the chorus is a bit odd at the beginnings, but it does become a bit more standard?  Not a song that’ll stick around tbh.

2. Emu

As the B-side, Emu is mostly explained as the experimental UVERworld song.  I do like the groove a lot more than I did in the leading track and TAKUYA is sounding a bit more invested in the track as its got a harder punch and there’s even a female vocalist (who shouts ~don’t run away~).  There’s something cool about the song and it has a unique kind of kick to it whereas I had trouble finding it in “Itteki no Eikyou”…oh and some sax solos!  Cool song and I think I wished it was the leading song…

3. Forever Young (AK-69 feat. UVERworld)

Originally found on AK-69’s recent album, “DAWN”, I’m surprised that UVERworld would include it on their single since it’s already on something else y’know?  Unlike the previous two tracks, Forever Young does start up slowly but it does get a cool beat that has piano layered on top of the band’s riffs.  Most of the song is rapping from AK-69 but TAKUYA does his singing in the choruses which is cool.  It’s a bit strange on this single, but it’s a decent track overall and a good collaboration at the end of the day.

4. CORE PRIDE

Ohhhh, we’re seeing old songs on an UVERworld single again (just like what happened on “Qualia”).  Considering this single is tied to the Ao no Exorcist series, it’s no surprise that the other tracks would find themselves returning here.  CORE PRIDE was a pretty cool song back then and the saxophones really were a new thing for UVERworld to bring back (a little before they made Seika an official member).  It’s an awesome song and still rocks today!

5. REVERSI

The other track was a recut single from “THE ONE” and good choice because it was one of the better songs off that album!  Unlike the heavy lean on saxes in “CORE PRIDE”, REVERSI takes more of a synth driven rock sound and the intro always gets me pumped up for the rest of the track!  It’s a pretty powerful song and TAKUYA is sounding controlled while the rest of the song keeps things wild and interesting (especially that short jazzy pre-chorus).  Great song and awesome to see reappear.

So UVER has gone and released their Ao no Exorcist single and it’s OK I guess?  Itteki no Eikyou is the weakest A-side they’ve released of the three singles so far.  I just don’t know why, but the song doesn’t gel well for me and it’s kind of messy in some ways.  I was more impressed by Emu though and thought that should’ve taken lead.  Throwing in CORE PRIDE and REVERSI to fill the single out was a good choice and both are still awesome tracks to listen to from the group…though I do find it random that Forever Young got placed here…doesn’t seem to fit the single’s theme really.  Album next?

 

FLOW – INNOSENSE

Filed under: FLOW — solarblade @ 6:06 am

innosense

Track Listing

  1. INNOSENSE
  2. Amida (Live ver.) <FLOW LIMITED CIRCUIT 2016 Kaze no Jin / Osaka BIG CAT 2016.9.20>
  3. EGO (Live ver.) <FLOW LIMITED CIRCUIT 2016 Honoo no Jin / Takamatsu DIME 2016.11.22>
  4. KA-ZA-A-NA (Live ver.) <FLOW LIMITED CIRCUIT 2016 Kaze no Jin / Osaka BIG CAT 2016.9.20>
  5. Kaze no Uta (Live ver.) <FLOW LIMITED CIRCUIT 2016 Kaze no Jin / Osaka BIG CAT 2016.9.20> (Anime edition only)
  6. BURN (Live ver.) <FLOW LIMITED CIRCUIT 2016 Honoo no Jin / Takamatsu DIME 2016.11.22> (Anime edition only)
  7. INNOSENSE -Instrumental-
  8. INNOSENSE -TV Size-
  9. INNOSENSE -TV Size -Inst.-

1. INNOSENSE

What a way to kick off the A-side, it’s probably one of the more intriguing introductions to an A-side I’ve heard from FLOW since…well I started to listen to them!  Being tied to the Tales of Berseria X anime, INNOSENSE is a lot more cool and true to the group’s sound as an intro song.  While I hear a lot more of KOHSHI in this track than I was expecting, the small amount of KEIGO isn’t too bad as the song is really more focused on the band and the powerful arrangement.  It also shows the band with a much harder and yet softer side to their growing sound.  Definitely an impressive song and sticks out a lot more than “Kaze no Uta” and “BURN” did!

2. Amida (Live ver.) <FLOW LIMITED CIRCUIT 2016 Kaze no Jin / Osaka BIG CAT 2016.9.20>

The rest of the single is filled with live versions of different songs, to be honest, I didn’t recognize any of the 3 tracks ahead, which is not surprising.  Now with Amida & “EGO”, I don’t think they were found anywhere else in their discography.  Amida does sound like something the band would’ve done in their more crazier days.  I’m a little surprised by the muffled chanting/yelling at the beginning, but once that clears away, the song ends up being catchy as hell and it just is FLOW at their best.  I wonder if this’ll be on an upcoming album (here’s hoping so!).

3. EGO (Live ver.) <FLOW LIMITED CIRCUIT 2016 Honoo no Jin / Takamatsu DIME 2016.11.22>

Like I said above, not sure if this was an already established song for the band, but EGO feels like it’s taking its sound from “BLACK&WHITE” as its rockin’ sound mixed with synths just seem to come from that era.  I do think it’s a bit more chant heavy and for pumping up the crowds more than “Amida” does.  It’s also quite catchy too and makes me wonder why live versions before studio versions.

4. KA-ZA-A-NA (Live ver.) <FLOW LIMITED CIRCUIT 2016 Kaze no Jin / Osaka BIG CAT 2016.9.20>

At least this track (through some searching) actually has a studio cut, surprisingly enough the original was on their 2002 indies mini, “Like a Rolling Snow”.  I wasn’t expecting them to reach that far back to perform this song and as its my first listen, I’m wondering how they sounded in their early indies days because it’s a lot more heavy and rockin’ than FLOW’s current style.  Add there’s some more rapping going on which is neat too!  Very cool track overall and probably my favorite of the 3.

5. Kaze no Uta (Live ver.) <FLOW LIMITED CIRCUIT 2016 Kaze no Jin / Osaka BIG CAT 2016.9.20>

The anime edition instead have live cuts of their last single (makes a LOT of sense considering the whole tie-in this single has.  Granted after coming off of 3 impressive lives, hearing Kaze no Uta is a different experience as the arrangement is a bit more live and the band is taking more charge.  While I still feel it’s a smidge bit uncharacteristic until the chorus, the band handled nicely and KOHSHI/KEIGO sound great together!

6. BURN (Live ver.) <FLOW LIMITED CIRCUIT 2016 Honoo no Jin / Takamatsu DIME 2016.11.22>

Likewise, BURN is pretty amazing to hear live as well.  I actually think the song was more comfortable for the band to throw out there live as it brings a nice force to the place they performed at and the band just sounds perfect and in synch with one another.  Great live version!

 

 

As the band’s 2nd single for the era, INNOSENSE might be a strange one for the group, but I quite liked it altogether.  The leading track is definitely amongst the best they released and I love FLOW’s tie-in songs most of the time as it is (which is most of their A-sides anyway XD).  While there was no B-side to be found, the live cuts are quite interesting.  With Amida & EGO, it feels like the band is starting to build an album (there’s 2 more unreleased songs they performed in those tours) and I’m already loving the idea as both tracks are pretty badass for the group.  Seeing KA-ZA-A-NA being brought back was great and shows a more intriguing FLOW of back yonder and then there’s Kaze no Uta and BURN which had to be here due to the tie-in.  Looking forward to their next release!

 

AAA – MAGIC February 9, 2017

Filed under: AAA — solarblade @ 6:40 am

magicaaa

Track Listing

  1. MAGIC
  2. MAGIC (Instrumental)
  3. Hurricane Riri, Boston Mari -TOKYO DOME ver.- (Physical ver. only)

1. MAGIC

It feels like it’s been so long that an A-side from AAA has caught my attention.  MAGIC has a pretty jazzy and upbeat and has a lot of what makes me fall in love with the group.  Though even though it isn’t as high speed as various songs of theres, it’s nice to find a song that brings back a fun and sassy vibe like “Kuchibiru Kara Romantica”.  Definitely the A-side that really was the best of the “WAY OF GLORY” era.

2. Hurricane Riri, Boston Mari -TOKYO DOME ver.-

Not sure why the single’s only other song is ANOTHER live version of their (arguably, most memorable A-side).  Doesn’t really intrigue me whenever I hear this, but it does give me a sense of openness and the group sounds like they were having a ball in this rendition.  Still, I think I would’ve preferred another B-side than a live cut.

Closing the “WAY OF GLORY” era out, MAGIC is a pretty cool and funky song for the group to have release (especially of recent times where I feel like the flame in the group is starting to die out).  On top of that, it was announced that after this upcoming album releases, Chiaki will graduate from the group leaving a 6-nin with one female lead.  I will say that this long iteration of AAA has been amazing and all, but I’m curious to see where the group will go after the album is out and promotions are finished.  MAGIC as a single is OK, but I think I could’ve used something else than a live cut of Hurrican Riri.

 

GENERATION 7: What a Short Post! February 1, 2017

Filed under: ~Teh Pokemon: 7th Gen~ — solarblade @ 4:41 am

As the title implies, yeah this will be a shorter post due to being close to the end of the dex and right before we get into the Legendaries & Ultra Beasts!  So let’s get the remainder of the Pokedex

051: Type:Null, 052: Silvally

typenull-jpgsilvally-jpg

Kicking things off, we have the strangely named Type: Null & its evolution Silvally!  Now strange as it seems, you can’t even obtain this Pokémon until post-game so it feels strange that it’s found in the main section of the Dex with other Pokémon.  Most of the game though will have you battling Type:Null due to Gladion owning one of them.  After you do get it, level it up with high happiness and the helmet comes off and it turns into Silvally.  What’s more interesting is that because it’s a chimera of sorts and its ability is called RKS System, it seems like the Aether Foundation were trying to recreate the God Pokémon, Arceus.  Even its ability uses “memories” in the same way plates are used for Arceus.  Strange Normal type for sure…

053: Minior

miniorminior2

When I first saw this Pokémon, I had thought that it would be somewhat related to either both Solrock and Lunatune.  However, at the end of the day Minior is a standalone Pokémon and pretty neat since it does share the aforementioned twos typing of Rock/Psychic.  What makes it stand out though is that once you lower its HP under half, its shell breaks and we get a plethora of colors like the pink one (pictured above, the its shiny form is my favorite of the bunch).  Pretty neat Pokémon and its got a cute gimmick.

054: Komala

komala

A Pokémon many fans were SO sure that would get an evolution, ended up not getting, this Normal-type Komala is a pretty confusing one to say the least.  Mostly it’s due to its ability, Comatose where its in a constant state of sleep without being actually asleep, which means Sleep moves (Sleep Talk, Snore) works and it can’t have any other negative ailment (Poison, Paralysis, Frozen) be put on it.  I think it if it had an evolution, it might have been a bit OP (unless it had a different ability).  Still, not a totally interesting Pokémon, but has a pretty neat idea behind it.

055: Turtonator

turtonator

Ahhh yes! A Fire/Dragon Pokémon that isn’t Reshiram!  This Sun exclusive was late to joining my party, but I find that because its a bit slow, its a Pokémon I wouldn’t care to use but Shell Trap (a signature move for Turtonator) is a nice counter being a bit slower than a lot of Pokémon.  Beyond that, I still haven’t really found much of a use for it, but time will tell!

056: Togedemaru

togedemaru

As a pattern with every generation, there’s always going to be a Pika-clone of sorts and in Generation 7 there’s two strangely enough.  The first is Togedemaru which beyond its full Japanese name being kept, is an Electric/Steel type like the Magnezone line but a lot more weaker in that sense.  I do love its hedgehog-inspired designed and the spikes that can protrude from its body, but to me I get strange Emolga feels from this.

057: Mimikyu

mimikyu-jpg

I definitely wasn’t expecting a Pika-clone is the furthest sense of connection like Mimikyu who is our first Ghost/Fairy type.  I will say between this Pokémon and Decidueye, the sheer popularity contest definitely went to those two.  Mimikyu is being pushed immensely and its backstory is cute, sad, but cute too.  In game, it has a signature ability in Disguise (which works like a built-in Substitute) and it gets a free move with no damage.  It’s such an unexpected but great idea of a Pokémon!

058: Bruxish

bruxish

Of the Pokémon in this generation, many fans have deemed that Bruxish is the weakest and I have to agree with it because the colors clash a bit too much (even worse when considering its shiny form) and while I like the idea of basing this off the state fish, the lips and jagged teeth is creepy and I have to say that I like Starmie a bit more as a Water/Psychic type than what Bruxish can do.  Plus it’s a bit difficult to find one too.  Just not a good-looking Pokémon.

059: Drampa

drampa

Towards the end of the main Dex, we have the Moon exclusive Drampa (who is our first Normal/Dragon type).  Sadly, we really don’t get to obtain one until we start climbing Mt. Lanakila to the Pokémon League.  A little too late to be training one for use in the League, Drampa seems to be in the background a lot.  Not sure what to say, but I suppose it works.

060: Dhelmise

dhelmise

One of the last Pokémon we got to check out, Dhelmise; like Bruxish and Mareanie are pretty tough to find (fishing in one specific spot on Poni Island, on top of a low encounter rate).  I wasn’t sure what type it could’ve been but in the end ended up being Grass/Ghost (sharing Decidueye and the Trevenant & Gourgeist lines.  Though in come its signature ability, Steelworker and it might as well be a Steel type too (Steel type moves get extra power).  Strange Pokémon in design, but it can be a powerhouse if used right!

061: Jangmo-o, 062: Hakamo-o, 063: Kommo-o

jangmo-o-jpghakamo-o-jpgkonmmo-jpg

The last set of Pokémon in this post is of course telling as these three represent the pseudo-legendary line of the generation.  The Kommo-o line is pretty unique as both Hakamo-o & Kommo-o are both of the unique dual type of Dragon/Fighting (Jangmo-o is a pure Dragon type).  I do like the kind of regal design the evolution line has and Kommo-o’s signature move, Clanging Scales is pretty cool despite having setbacks to its Defenses.  Overall a cool design and much better in usage than the Goodra line of 6th Gen.

NEXT TIME, LEGENDARIES & UBs!!!!!

 

Country Girls – Good Boy Bad Girl/Peanut Butter Jelly Love January 31, 2017

Filed under: Country Girls — solarblade @ 6:53 am

goodboybadgirl

Track Listing

  1. Good Boy Bad Girl
  2. Peanut Butter Jelly Love
  3. Good Boy Bad Girl (Instrumental)
  4. Peanut Butter Jelly Love (Instrumental)

1. Good Boy Bad Girl

As the leading A-side, Good Boy Bad Girl seemed to really have left the rockabilly vibes of the last couple singles behind and gave us a straight up pop/rock song to deal with!  Seeing the group moving back into something a little more straightforward musically, I was enjoying the simplicity more!  As it seems a lot of the song is in duet lines but all the girls have solos (the best belonging to Funakki, once again).  Easy song for them and while it doesn’t rise above past A-sides that I loved, it’s a decent track.

2. Peanut Butter Jelly Love

Opening with a cute intro from Momoko, PBJL takes us back to some of their cuter songs (especially giving me a bit of a “Koi Dorobo” & “Namida no Request” vibe).  I found there was some guitar elements here as well, but the tune is just overall cute all over the place.  I found myself tapping my toes along the arrangement and the whole group just sound bright and lively!

 

 

With this being Momoko’s final single with the group, I have to say that she didn’t quite have much spotlight, even though she was just a overseer to the group and trained the members.  Like I said, the rockabilly vibes of the last two singles are absent which is a nice break from it and both songs are OK, if not a little above average for them.  With an audition being leaked (not officially announced yet), I can only wonder what’ll be next on the horizon (hopefully an album showcasing Momoko’s time with the group (if not a little of Uta & Manaka too)).