Kurayami Monogatari

Would love a comment every so often <<

Ai Kago – no hesitAtIon June 29, 2009

Filed under: Ai Kago — solarblade @ 9:48 pm
Tags: , ,

nohesitation

Track Listing

  1. no hesitAtIon
  2. Children of the night
  3. no hesitAtIon (Instrumental)
  4. Children of the night (Instrumental)

1. no hesitAtIon

Another ex-H!P artist debuting this year?  How crazy right?  Well Aibon releases her first A-side and in some ways it’s good and some ways its bad.  Good thing is that the song’s pop/rock sound works for her and it somewhat sounds like something Ai Otsuka would release, but then the bad thing of the song is Ai’s vocals through some of it.  She sounds nasally some of the time and I quite dislike it.  It’s still pretty lively and filled with good emotions and it’s cute hearing Aibon saying ~hesitation~.

2. Children of the night

The B-side is of course a ballad, so it was easy to have guessed it was.  Though all of a sudden, Ai’s vocals become nice and sweet under the acoustic guitar arrangement.  It’s definitely more fitting than the A-side and well, hearing Aibon using English in the song is pretty rad.  I think that half the song is English….talk about sweet.  Cute interlude with Ai speaking in the middle of the song. 

 

 

So after Aibon’s bad experiences during her stint with H!P she finally returns and under a new label and well, she definitely shows future greatness, but I think one of her problems is her idol voice still bores through the song and well, she’s not an idol anymore.  no hesitAtIon was alright, but Children of the night was something super nice from Aibon…hope for a good future for her.

 

Ai Otsuka – Pocket June 23, 2009

Filed under: Ai Otsuka — solarblade @ 9:57 am
Tags: , , ,

pocket

Track Listing

  1. Pocket
  2. Ticket
  3. LIFE – LOVE CiRCLE
  4. Pocket (Instrumental)
  5. Ticket (Instrumental)

1. Pocket

Ai finally does something about holidays and Pocket was the answer.  Kickstarting the era off with a wintry ballad, is pretty risky.  I don’t think it’s one of her best ballads since it is just piano and acoustic for majority of it.  It’s pretty, but when the guitars and drums come in, it does seem to get better, but I don’t really enjoy the song much…Don’t know why, but it’s not just that good to me.

2. Ticket

Ticket luckily makes things upbeat for us which is pretty awesome.  At the same time I’m gettin that retro feeling that I got with last single “PEACH/HEART” mainly on the secondary A-side.  It easily is a better track overall than “Pocket” since it took the strings and made it’s own.  I wish Ai did put this track on “LOVE LETTER”, but then again it’s pretty rare to see a B-side making to an album.

3. LIFE – LOVE CiRCLE

Another risk Ai chose was to do a full-on English track and LIFE – LOVE CiRCLE came to be.  Her accent is pretty obvious and it’s quite obvious she hasn’t had much of learning, but it’s enough to get her by.  Like, “Ticket” it’s pretty catchy and upbeat for her which is good.  There’s a little bit of Japanese which is where the chorus ends.  For her first try in a different language, it’s actually quite good. 

 

 

Ai’s first single for the “LOVE LETTER” era was surprisngly a little safe for her (then again the whole era was just too safe).  Pocket was just a typical winter track, nothing more, nothing less.  Ticket and LIFE – LOVE CiRCLE were pretty upbeat, but it doesn’t stand out in her discography, at least IMO it doesn’t.  Still it is my least favorite single of the era.

 

w – Aa Ii na! June 7, 2009

Filed under: w — solarblade @ 8:23 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

Aaiina

Track Listing

  1. Aa Ii na!
  2. Otome no Keitaidenwa no Himitsu
  3. Aa Ii na! (Instrumental)

1. Aa Ii na!

I really don’t know what was up with the opening to this song.  Luckily it does slow down a bit to gain a pretty catchy beat.  I think they took notes and took some synths along to make it better.  Then they end off the chorus with the passage from the beginning it just doesn’t fit at all.  Aibon and Tsuji sounds alright, but it’s not like amazing or anything, but it’s very passable.

2. Otome no Keitaidenwa no Himitsu

The B-side is just as peppy and fun as well.  Luckily it features better vocals and better harmonization and none of those awkward parts that were in “Aa Ii na!”.  There’s also a lot of bass which is surprising for a w song.  It also features a good amount of strings and synths, not normal for an H!P track.  This definitly topped the A-side.

 

 

I’m so happy they are continuing to get better especially after the terrifying single, “Koi no Vacance”.  Both songs are definitly more synth filled and both tracks are originals which is the first.  Aa Ii na! was alright, but please take that awkward passage out for the love of almighty.  Otome no Keitaidenwa no Himitsu was easily the better of the two because well it just took what Aa Ii na! could’ve been and made it better.

 

LOVE – White Choco April 24, 2009

Filed under: Ai Otsuka — solarblade @ 10:42 am
Tags: , , , ,

whitechoco

Track Listing

  1. White Choco
  2. White Choco -instrumental-

1. White Choco

This song has a little bit of a backstory interestingly.  White Choco was originally a promo track for her debut, “Momo no Hanabira” but with a different name “White Chocolate” (chocolate was in kanji BTW).  Now when this was released it was after “Pocket” (time flies huh?)  Strange when I start it I question myself because, I say *What’s this…Sonic the Hedgehog music?!?*  There’s guitars and a synths, but not as important as “LOVE no Theme’s”.  Ai’s under vocoder again and she still sounds good.  Hmmmm…maybe she needs to go under this style for an album.

 

 

White Choco is quite catchy and cute which was the way she wanted it to be.  It’s a bit faster than “LOVE no Theme” but it still carried a lot of fun within it…WHERE’S OUR NEXT LOVE SINGLE!!!! I’m in too much love with it!!!

 

LOVE – LOVE no Theme

Filed under: Ai Otsuka — solarblade @ 10:33 am
Tags: , , , ,

 

lovenotheme1

Track Listing

  1. LOVE no Theme
  2. LOVE no Theme (instrumental)
  3. NEXT SINGLE PREVIEW (White Choco)

1. LOVE no Theme

I was surprised that Ai under a pen name would release a J-tek pop song.  Now I know it’s her bunny name, but this was just downright surprising for me since I’ve never heard this song.  I love the arpeggios going on in the song and it’s actually her 2nd time going through J-tek, first being “Mousou Chop”.  Ai’s voice is so cute and even the use of vocoder worked for her as well.  I gotta say this was surprising in a great way.

2. NEXT SINGLE PREVIEW (White Choco)

Ok, so there’s a preview of the next single under the moniker of LOVE which I’ll talk about on the single.  Anyways, there’s only 40 seconds to go through this little preview.  There’s a little entrance and giving the song’s shortness it sounds more upbeat and cutesy as well.  It’s just weird that it ends as fast as it starts.

 

 

I really think LOVE no Theme is one of her best upbeat tracks.  I mean it’s got a nice beat and sound and with Ai under the vocoder, it was crazy and actually she should strive to work with one of these again.  As well as use her “Shachihata” voice as well…OH THE WONDERS!

 

w – Duo U&U April 6, 2009

Filed under: w — solarblade @ 5:03 am
Tags: , , , , ,

duo-uu

Track Listing

  1. Koi no Vacance
  2. Southpaw
  3. Nagisa no “……”
  4. Shiroi Iro wa Koibito no Iro
  5. Osaka Rhapsody
  6. Matsu wa
  7. Samashii Nettaigyo
  8. Kakemeguru Seishun
  9. Nagisa no Sinbad
  10. Koi no Indian Ningyou
  11. Suki yo Captain
  12. Sentimental Boy
  13. Oatsuraemuki no Destiny
  14. Give Me Up
  15. Jounetsu no Hana (PASSION FLOWER)

1. Koi no Vacance

The first song off this album is also the only A-side of the era.  Koi no Vacance is still bothersome to me, but I love the whole surf sound it has.  It sounds better since the single review, but I still kind of dislike the girls singing maybe it’ll get better as this album goes on.

2. Southpaw

Southpaw has a pretty hectic opening, but after that we finally get a good song.  I notice that Tsuji and Ai are both singing in a lower tone than they were in “Koi no Vacance” and I was happy with the progress they were doing here.  The speedy song definitly is one of the early favorites of mine.  Though I don’t know why they fail at saying Southpaw…they say it like ~saucepau~  Yea….

3. Nagisa no “……”

Totally different from the later track.  Nagisa no “…….” is something I would’ve expected from H!P.  It’s quite girly and it reminds me of something Koharu would be singing…yea pretty bad assumption right?  Cheesy 90’s track but funny hearing from Aibon and Nono.

4. Shiroi Iro wa Koibito no Iro

Surprisingly, they stick in a ballad early on the album and it actually showcased some pretty great vocals from the gals.  The song is made of strings and a quiet acoustic guitar melody.  It’s so dreamy and the duo made a great stride to sound good together.  Pretty track

5. Osaka Rhapsody

Why does Osaka Rhapsody remind me of Russian music?  It must because of the use of accordion and the music is definitly something Russian.  It’s so random and yet it kind of fits them with the stuff they’ve been pulling off so far.  The girls once again go into a deeper tone and seriously it’s so fun and different for H!P.  Great song!

6. Matsu wa

Matsu wa brings out the return of the icky cute vocals from the girls.  At least they sound together, but I found myself disliking the songs otherwise bouncy sound.  It just seems too laidback to make an impression on me.  Maybe I’ll like it once I give it a listen later.

7. Samashii Nettaigyo

Oh hey, there’s synth in this track.  Honestly, this is another great track even though their vocals are kinda icky.  I can see their are trying to act sexy in the song and in some parts it worked, but other times it felt wrong and unneeded.  I do love the brass in the song giving the track some excitement. 

8. Kakemeguru Seishun

Then we get IMO the worst song off the album because the girls sound terribly off from each other and one of them is overpowering the other in a bad way.  The guitar solos were a nice touch, but it didn’t save the song from being half-assed and rep

9. Nagisa no Sinbad

Wait, didn’t I review this on MoMosu’s album, “COVER YOU?”  Well, either way, this song also tried to portray the gals as sexii, but this time I just felt it was tacked on and their vocals were also just as bad as it was in the last track.  What’s up with that ~SEKUSHIIII~ I mean that was funny.  Luckily it’s a pretty short track.

10. Koi no Indian Ningyou

Of course they were stereotyping here.  The song has some stuff that actually sound like Native American music, but then shaved it off for the rocking chorus.  The verses is what kept me into the song because it just sounded nice, but when they get into the chorus…the girls yelling/singing was annoying to no end.  Good try though.

12. Suki yo Captain

Why is the album getting worse?  Suki yo Captain once again starts out with pretty horrid vocals…Y’know what this is the same thing I thought of “Koi no Indian Ningyou”, bad chorus vocals but really catchy verses.  Sadly the music is the failing part as well because it’s just too light and laidback.  WTH…

12. Sentimental Boy

At least we return to something more upbeat…Luckily I enjoyed the whole 80’s New Wave sound this song had.  I actually consider this a J-tek track because there’s so much synth and a lot of good things about that.  The girls aren’t under vocoder which does make it stand out to me.  Even this track stands out from the album as well.  Awesome track.

14. Oatsuraemuki no Destiny

They tried again for a little bit with this 80’s style synth but this one kind of lacked interest for me.  There’s a lot of interesting things other than the arrangement, like whistles, and guitar chords.   It’s a little random, but with the girl’s off vocals the song kind of failed for me.

14. Give Me Up

Unlike, Nami Tamaki’s take.  w’s is more faithful to the original.  Now I think the former’s is more exciting, but Aibon and Nono’s take is pretty good as well because they actually made the song sound fun and cute with the whole song.  Even the arrangement is pretty nice and funky.  Another awesome fun song.

15. Jounetsu no Hana (PASSION FLOWER)

Ending the album off is Jounetsu no Hana which is surprisingly poppy and definitly catchy.  What I notice is the song’s different tempo speeds they were going at and the cool guitar riffs.  The BKGD vocals were a surprise and they didn’t detract from the song ending the album in a fun way.

Tracks Recommended

  •  Sentimental Boy
  • Shiroi Iro wo Koibito no Iro
  • Give Me Up
  • Southpaw
  • Osaka Rhapsody

Song of Avoidance

  • Kakemeguru Seishun

w’s first album is actually a cover album surprise, surprise.  The first half of the album had pretty great tracks that do feature the best vocals of Aibon and Nono.  As we went towards the middle things started to get pretty bad vocally and musically.  At least they redeemed themselves toward the end with the fun songs…Now, I hope their final album is better than this!

 

Ai Otsuka – LOVE PiECE March 10, 2009

Filed under: Ai Otsuka — solarblade @ 1:24 pm
Tags: , , ,

300px-love_piece

Track Listing

  1. Mirai Taxi
  2. Yumekui
  3. Mackerel’s canned food
  4. PEACH
  5. Kumuriuta
  6. Hoshi no Tango
  7. Katorisenkou
  8. Frienger
  9. CHU-LIP
  10. HEART
  11. Ren’ai Shashin

1. Mirai Taxi

Out of the previous opening tracks, Mirai Taxi is my favorite hands down.  Starting off with Ai shutting the taxi door and then a cool guitar/synth riff pops in and things just get better from there.  I love how she justs sounds so right with the whole yelling in the chorus and settling down through the verses.  Definitly a great song to start off on.

2. Yumekui

Yumekui pops up after and it does kind of sounds like a more chill version of “Mirai Taxi” which is cool because I still like the track since the single review.  The whole dreamy take is so nice and peaceful especially since nothing sounds like it in her discography. 

3. Mackerel’s canned food

Our next new track’s name is based off of a band she used to play in which is a nice tribute of sorts.  Still the title is still very Ai and for people who wouldn’t know the fact is it strange.  I like the whole rock thing, but it probably would’ve fit more in her next album, “LOVE LETTER” moreso than on here IMO…

4. PEACH

One of the two last A-side released for the era, PEACH is our token summer song and Ai’s always had one on each album.  So from that standpoint, PEACH is a bit like “U-Boat” in arrangement, but I really like PEACH because Ai’s obviously having a lot of fun here and even though it’s not the best of the era, the PV makes up for it.  Dancing peaches FTW

5. Kumuriuta

Would you be surprised that Kumuriuta is basically a ballad?  Thought so, Kumuriuta is a pretty nice ballad (but when is one of her ballads aren’t?).  Ok, let me take that back.  Ai’s vocals kind of seem off by a little bit because she is singing almost by herself in the first verses.  After that though, it’s smooth sailing with Ai, piano, acoustics, and strings and drums. 

6. Hoshi no Tango

Hoshi no Tango to me is one of her most pleasant songs of recent.  Like the whole accordion with the nightlife music is just so done wonderfully.  Ai even sounds so good here.  Musically, the song doesn’t seem to have any direction, but given the mood, it doesn’t exactly seem that important.  Everyone has said this about it and yea, it’s too short.  Give it another minute and it could’ve been the best song off the album.

7. Katorisenkou

Kind of like how Mika’s MICA 3 CHU stuff sounded out of place, Katorisenkou is that song on this album.  It begins with a mosquito flying around the speakers and then crazy Ai just appears and wow was this the mood twister.  “Hoshi no Tango” was sweet and cute…Katorisenkou is just erratic and one of the most random songs that she’s created.  Another thing she does each album.  Ai definitly took the punk rock and made it her own and the whole ~ka ka ka~ thing is just 0.o and her screaming as well.  Would you believe it’s even shorter than the previous as well?

8. Frienger

The rest of the tracks are old ones from here on out and we start with the A-side to start off the era, Frienger.  Now from the single review I said that this wasn’t that good to me.  Well that decision is still concrete.  I’m not sure why I don’t enjoy it as much as the songs that are similar.  I think her voice is probably the thing that made me dislike it.  Maybe it’s just cuz she’s done songs like this already and I just wasn’t impressed perhaps. 

9. CHU-LIP

I’m still giggling over the fact that CHU-LIP’s PV was so strange and funny at the same time.  I love the fact the she incorporated some brass in the song and the whole meaning of (I don’t wanna be my parents) going on throughout was just silly and cute.  It’s my favorite A-side this era has put out for sure.

10. HEART

HEART to me is like retro music.  Like the strings and the guitar melody is just so 70’s pop ballad for some reason.  Her voice sounds so right and doesn’t force her to make high notes that she would usually squeak through, so I have to say this was a great addition to the album.

11. Ren’ai Shashin

I kind of figured Ren’ai Shashin would’ve been the track to finish the album because it is a ballad which her albums are also known for of course.  I would’ve preferred the version found on “PEACH/HEART” but since this was an A-side I guess it was more important.  It’s so dramatic and Ai once again proves that she’s the ballad queen.

Tracks Recommended

  • CHU-LIP
  • Mirai Taxi
  • Ren’ai Shashin
  • Hoshi no Tango
  • Katorisenkou

Song of Avoidance

  • Frienger

I have to say, this is her best album so far.  LOVE PiECE has so many good tracks (even though it’s lacking in new material).  I do think the new tracks were better than most of the A-sides on the album so it was saying that she’s going in the right direction…(yea…).  If I was blogging in 2007, I would’ve said either this or abingdon boys school’s debut album would’ve been the best that year.