Kurayami Monogatari

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TOKYO GIRLS’ STYLE – water lily ~Suiren~ October 8, 2017

Filed under: TOKYO GIRLS' STYLE — solarblade @ 6:20 am

waterlily

Track Listing

  1. water lily ~Suiren~
  2. illusion
  3. water lily ~Suiren~ (PARKGOLF Remix)
  4. water lily ~Suiren~ (Instrumental)
  5. illusion (Instrumental)

1. water lily ~Suiren~

Opening the single, we get a very different side to TGS with water lily which is more relaxed a totally different setting from the norm that everyone had gotten used to.  It definitely is laidback and taking upon a more tropical house setting is something new yet familiar to the quartet.  It’s refreshing overall and the members are sounding better in harmonies (or it could just be studio magic).  Still, not so bad of a song!

2. illusion

The B-side though is not exactly new material, it’s more of a original version to the illusion found on their last album, “REFLECTION”.  Not sure why they waited so long to put this on a single considering it’s been quite a while.  As mentioned in the album remix of it, it’s a Mei solo but unlike the arrangement, this goes back to the funk/disco vibes (when the group was still 5 strong).  It’s nice to hear a song like this again, but I was alarmed about the amount of auto-tune used on Mei’s voice.  It’s a bit distracting and doesn’t really work with the arrangement.  I suppose the single needed something, but eh…it’s kind of disappointing.

3. water lily ~Suiren~ (PARKGOLF Remix)

Of course it’s remix time and it’s of the leading track here.  The PARKGOLF remix feels a bit more organic sounding having a bit more piano and this reggae-ish mood as the main style.  Not quite sure if I was liking the auto-tune placed in this song either as it makes the group sound more squirrelly sounding.  I think I like musically more than the original, but the vocal melody needs to be fixed up some.

 

 

As the group’s 4th single since their album, I feel like water lily is kind of the middle-of-the-road single (considering this before they had announced two best mini-albums).  I feel like nothing totally stood out here, but it’s not horrid enough to be shelved.  Both the main song and remix have good points and bad points, but it’s different from their usual shtick.  illusion on the other hand was just thrown on here for no good reason IMO, but likewise it’s fine if you’re into the older TGS sound.  Interesting to see what’s in store from the “PERIOD. BEST” albums.

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Morning Musume ’17 – Jama Shinaide Here We Go!/Dokyuu no Go Sign/Wakaindashi! September 27, 2017

Filed under: Morning Musume — solarblade @ 5:26 am

jamashinaideherewego

Track Listing

  1. Jama Shinaide Here We Go!
  2. Dokyuu no Go Sign
  3. Wakaindashi!
  4. Jama Shinaide Here We Go! (Instrumental)
  5. Dokyuu no Go Sign (Instrumental)
  6. Wakaindashi! (Instrumental)

1. Jama Shinaide Here We Go!

Opening the single, we get Jama Shinaide Here We Go! with an intro from Harunan & Haachin before we actually kick the song off!  As this track in particular is here to sort of introduce the group’s newest member, Chisaki Morito, the tune does a fair job at showing her off on top of various other members getting a solo line here and there (hm did Kaede not get one???).  The track itself has this Colorful era feel mixed with one of the group’s earlier singles, “AS FOR ONE DAY” but synthy.  It’s different for the group, I can say that, not too interesting IMO though.  There’s something kind of low energy about it.

2. Dokyuu no Go Sign

At least with the 2nd A-side, things get a whole lot more energetic.  Actually, I was surprised how quick-paced and powerful the song went right from the opening.  It reminds me of “Koko ni Iruzee!” with the pop/rock yet super genki vibes I get.  However, not all is great as we have the singing group/dancing group shtick once again (like in “Oh my wish!” & “The Vision”).  This time it seems like Eripon, Duu, Ayumi, Yokoyan, Kaedii, and even new member Chiichan are sitting this song out.  Which is odd and shaky as the rest involved: (Fukuchan, Maachan, Harunan, Odasaku, Akanechin, Haachin, Maria, and Miki) are at the forefront here.  I love the energy and hearing the 12th Gen getting this push is great to see, but I wish the newer members had more chances to stand out.

3. Wakaindashi!

Since this single is also Duu’s final single, it comes to no surprise that at least one track would be centered around her and she’s leading all over the track.  Unlike the other two A-sides, this one is quite poppy, kind of like a happier “ENDLESS SKY”.  I have to admit that it is also my favorite off the single.  The song’s bright nature and boppy nature is just cute and Duu sounds amazing.  Though interesting that the 3 youngest members, (Akane, Reina, and Maria) got lines too!  Interesting song overall and really is a nice way to send Haruka off.  I will say those male ~heys~ are so distracting XD.

 

 

Oooph…is 2017 over yet?  Momusu has been dealing with quite a bit this year as it is.  This single marks the beginning of a new member (Chisaki) who is from…well…what was the active Country Girls but since been inactive and the girls (sans Yamakki & Ozeko) were put to different groups.  On top of this being Haruka Kudo’s final single before graduation.  Honestly, the single was OK, not their best, but certainly passable.  Wakaindashi! is the clear winner for me as it was breezy pop and celebrated Duu quite nicely.  Jama Shinaide was serious and slightly brooding, but it’s got some interesting things about it and Dokyuu no Go Sign was an exciting and fast track to really get behind…A little bummed that some members got forgotten on this single (Kaede & Eripon in particular).  Also WELCOME BACK Maachan!!!

 

Perfume – If you wanna August 30, 2017

Filed under: Perfume — solarblade @ 3:24 pm

ifyouwanna

Track Listing

  1. If you wanna
  2. Everyday
  3. If you wanna -Original Instrumental-
  4. Everyday -Original Instrumental-

1. If you wanna

As the leading track If you wanna feels a bit like something I would’ve come across in their last two era by having a cuter but poppy side to it.  Though the song does have some interesting parts like the chorus where it feels like it becomes something Western-like.  Sadly, that’s really it for it because it only does its parts twice in a matter of a little under 3 minutes.  I can’t quite see the reason it’s the leading track due to how short it is and how “Everyday” ended up with the PV, but this kind of felt thrown together and not so much in a good way.

2. Everyday

As for the B-side, Everyday surprises me with natural piano on top of natural voices in the opening.  As a song that’s a bit more bubbly and intricate with its arrangement, I do find the feel of the song refreshing for Perfume, but I feel like I could’ve survived without the toy piano (a staple for Nakata’s other project, Kyarypamyupamyu).  Though I have to say, this was a song for me persay, but I can respect the airiness and just playful style the track is going for, but it’s just not for me.

 

Man, if I thought “TOKYO GIRL” was a bit mediocre, then I have to say If you wanna is just bleh.  I’m not sure why this single needed to be especially with how they presented it with both songs.  If you wanna just feels lazy and kind of trite in comparison to previous A-sides which I haven’t felt since “Sweet Refrain” though that song grew on me through its album version.  There’s just not enough for me here.  Everyday is cute, I’ll give it that, but could we leave that for Kyary?  I don’t know, but this album era so far has not done anything for Perfume for me.

 

 

Juice=Juice – Fiesta! Fiesta! August 24, 2017

Filed under: Juice=Juice — solarblade @ 4:04 am

fiestafiesta

Track Listing

  1. Fiesta! Fiesta!
  2. Wonderful World (English Ver.)
  3. Fiesta! Fiesta! (Instrumental)

1. Fiesta! Fiesta!

Huh, I wasn’t expecting Juice=Juice to explode onto the single with a latin-esque party song!  If anything after “KEEP ON Joshou Shikou!!”, I was ready for the group to bring more energy to their songs and have good a time.  Though what’s bigger is that the group grew two members further in Ruru Danbara and Country Girls’ Nanami Yanagawa!  Right from the start it seems Ruru is gonna charge in headfirst with powerful vocals!  Yanamin does have her score as well and she sounds more or less the same as she does in CG…I’m also quite surprised that Aarii had so many lines too!  Honestly, this song is really catchy and stands out!

2. Wonderful World (English Ver.)

Though I was dreading seeing the coupling song was going to be an English take on one of my least favorite Juice=Juice songs.  It doesn’t help that their accents are a LOT more heavier than Momusu doing “One and Only”, but I feel like I can understand some of what they’re saying.  Actually I don’t think I hear Yanamin or Ruru here so it might just be the original 5 singing this again.  Still not a fan and the whole last half is a bit of a vocal trainwreck to my ears, but it is what it is.

 

 

With H!P going through some big changes, some of the releases have been relegated to digital releases as is the case for Juice=Juice’s Fiesta! Fiesta! (“Goal” and “Jouro” did release, but I skipped them up as they were just the track).  As the first single with new members Ruru and Nanami, they did pretty well and the group gave us a fun song to cherish while the Summer season starts to close shop.  I only think Wonderful World got its new version because they’re set to go on a World Tour soon, so it makes sense, but I still don’t like the song much.  Either way, not bad…makes me wonder how the 7-nin will do for future releases!

 

Kalafina – Hyakka Ryouran

Filed under: Kalafina — solarblade @ 3:43 am

hyakkaryouran

Track Listing

  1. Hyakka Ryouran
  2. Kantankatan
  3. Tombo
  4. Hyakka Ryouran ~instrumental~
  5. Kantankatan ~instrumental~
  6. Tombo ~instrumental~
  7. Hyakka Ryouran -TV Size-

1. Hyakka Ryouran

Opening the single up, Hyakka Ryouran to me finally feels like Kajiura is up for some kind of experimentation whereas the previous singles in this era felt more or less safe for her.  Actually, the song’s darker rock vibe reminds me of songs like “consolation” and “Magia”.  I love the arrangement and it just sounds like Kalafina back to their awesomeness and mysterious auras.  This is definitely a song that really sticks out for them in a great way!

2. Kantankatan

The first of the B-sides, Kantankatan takes the trio down a slower path with a strings/piano/acoustic guitar ballad.  To be fair, I feel like I haven’t heard the trio tackle a style like this.  I’m liking the harmonies in the song for sure, but I feel like because of the arrangement, it does kind of feel sluggish to me, maybe a bit boring?  I don’t know there’s just not much for me to remember it for.

3. Tombo

Though the other B-side is something Kalafina always seem to do and nowadays, the feeling is cutting short because there’s just not much to say when it comes to bare-boned ballads.  So for short, nice harmonies, melody is forgetful due to it is only really come in the form of piano and it’s a sleeper…

 

 

As Kalafina’s 3rd single of the era, Hyakka Ryouran might be my favorite A-side they’ve done for quite a WHILE so I appreciate the effort in this track especially!  However, I can’t say the same for the rest of the single.  Kantankatan does have an interesting arrangement but the way it flows just kind of feels slow to me and Tombo…is basic Kalafina…there’s SOOOO many other similar ballads in comparison too…

 

Ciao Bella Cinquetti – High Tension! Wagga Jinsei!/Wadachi August 23, 2017

Filed under: THE Possible — solarblade @ 4:38 am

hightension

Track Listing

  1. High Tension! Wagga Jinsei!
  2. Wadachi
  3. High Tension! Wagga Jinsei! (Nanchatte Samba mix) (Limiteds only)
  4. High Tension! Wagga Jinsei! (Instrumental)
  5. Wadachi (Instrumental)

1. High Tension! Wagga Jinsei!

With a title as such, High Tension! Wagga Jinsei! was going to of course be the more idol-like track here with a fast beat and a lot of synths and funny enough finger snapping!  There’s something a bit different to past endeavors which felt more straightforward.  I’m liking all the different areas of the song and while I hear a lot of Hashimon, the remaining members seem to get some feature as well.  Decent A-side!

2. Wadachi

The other A-side included, Wadachi is a bit of a 180 for the quartet from going to an upbeat and fun vibe to something more pop/rock and serious.  This is what reminds me of stuff during their “1116” album where a lot of there songs were kind of more mellow and rockin’ at times.  I like the tune itself since it is CBC being all musician-like and what to me feels trying to pull away from the

3. High Tension! Wagga Jinsei! (Nanchatte Samba mix)

Though in Regular editions, it comes with a remix of the leading A-side!  Obviously comparing from the original cut, this remix has a LOT more synths involved.  Now, I did follow that the song would take a (fake Samba) vibe and the only times it gets close to Samba is the chorus where it has whistles and a faster beat.  I kind of like this remix, suits the tune nicely!

 

 

As the first single to kick off a new era for Ciao Bella Cinquetti, I feel like they started off quite strongly with this double A-side release!  I feel like both High Tension! Wagga Jinsei! & Wadachi both represented what works with the group and neither song disappointed me.  Hell, even the remix was decent!  I’m curious to see where they go (also with Berikyuu graduated, makes me wonder when CBC will since they’re about the same age (a little younger though)).

 

GENERATION 7: Alola forms, Hawaii flavored Pokémon? July 29, 2017

Filed under: ~Teh Pokemon: 7th Gen~ — solarblade @ 6:55 am

Here we are with right now the final post for Generation 7 (at least until we figure what’s going to be included in Ultra Sun/Moon & the unknown Switch title.  We’re going to talk about the Alolan forms of Pokémon (ironically was left to certain Kanto Pokémon) so shall we begin?

019: Rattata, 020: Raticate

a-rattara.jpga-raticate.jpg

We begin with the Raticate line which as you can see changed colors from a predominant purple fur color to a black color and Raticate is a bit fatter as well xD.  They also changed from Normal to a Dark/Normal type.  It’s a bit better for them, but not so much that they’re must-haves!  Though I do give it props that Rattata will only evolve to this only at nights.

025: Raichu

a-raichu

Now, on this list not every Pokémon in a evolution line gained an Alolan form.  For example, Raichu here was the only one to get an Alola form (Pichu didn’t get anything and Pikachu either, though it did get Hat forms, w/e they are right?).  Back to Raichu, it managed to gain a new type making it a Electric/Psychic type (a first for the series).  Unlike many others in this list though, Raichu evolves in the same way Kanto Raichu does (by a Thunder Stone that is).

027: Sandshrew, 028: Sandslash

a-sandshrewa-sandslash

The next ones up were of the Sandslash line which actually went from being a Ground type to an Ice type (Ice/Steel in the case for Sandslash).  While the typing overall is much worse off for these two (because Ice is bad defensively already and the 4x weakness to Fire in Slash’s case, I feel like I love the aesthetics more than I like their gameplay now.  Though I seriously love both of their designs strangely.  Sandshrew though now evolves only by use of the new Alolan Ice Stone.

037: Vulpix, 038: Ninetales

a-vulpixa-ninetales

I suppose in Alola, Sandshrew & Vulpix are a bit in a rival as they both got them Ice treatment in the game.  Though interestingly enough, I think Ninetales got the longer stick in the end by having its type changed into Ice/Ghost.  At least the meta is a bit more forgiving letting Ninetales be a bit more of a Special Attacker.  I also like its design, but I feel like I like the original designs more!  If it wasn’t obvious though, Ice Stone, just saying…

050:Diglett, 051: Dugtrio

a-digletta-dugtrio

You think changing a Pokémon’s design would make sense and while the change to Dugtrio’s typing makes sense when you really do research the fact that the design’s addition is hair to make it from Ground to Ground/Steel is bizarre yet unique. Granted, I do think it got boosted with the new typing and does a smidge better in-game, I just can’t get the Hanson reference out of my head xD

052: Meowth. 053: Persian

a-meowtha-persian.jpg

I’m pretty much OK with changing a Pokémon’s design for the sake of it, but I don’t think changing Meowth’s color and blowing up Persian’s head is quite enough to make me care about it.  Though I do approve of changing its typing to Dark and making it’s evolution friendship-based interesting, I think I cared the least about this line out of the Alolan forms.

074: Geodude, 075: Graveler, 076: Golem

a-geodudea-gravelera-golem.jpg

As the last Alolan Pokémon to be revealed for Su/Mo, the Golem line was also another group of PKMN that I wasn’t expecting to get new forms.  Though I was pleasantly surprised by it by adding the Electric type to its already known Rock type giving it some nice coverage and some Special power (even if it’s more of a physical attacker/defensive tank).  Not quite sure of Golem turning into a launcher, but I suppose it makes sense in a way.

088: Grimer, 089: Muk

a-grimera-muk

Yeah, I’m not surprised that the Muk line got new forms, but I wasn’t expecting that it would be a positive thing they exist for Alola.  The Muk line also gained a new type changing it to a Poison/Dark type to give it some push like the Drapion line does.  An interesting thing is that the colors on Muk changes (though in the game it is a little awkward with it changing and stopping).  Otherwise, it’s a nice upgrade, but still not a Pokémon I’d really use.

103: Exeggutor

a-exeggutor

Probably the most unusual of the new forms we have Exeggutor (which strangely enough to see that Exeggcute did not get anything).  The original was a Grass/Psychic type but here after absorbing the heavy amount of sunlight (though really a Leaf Stone), it evolves into this towering Grass/Dragon type (which to me still doesn’t make a whole lotta sense to me).  Besides the fact it became a meme real quick and how absurdly tall it is, I find it a nice addition and does a lot for the line!

105: Marowak

a-marowak

Last, but not least we have Marowak (strange as it seems that it ends a little after 100 Pokémon (when Kanto has 151, going by Pokedex number).  I will say that Cubone not getting the form as well is odd, but once again makes sense once you read the little blurb about Marowak here who went from a Ground type to a wholly new set of Fire/Ghost (sharing with the Chandelure line).  I REALLY like the firedancer motif it has and the undead feeling just feels right.  While it’s still not quite as awesome as Chandelure, this was a great addition.

 

WOO, ALOLA DONE~~~~FOR NOW??