Kurayami Monogatari

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Kaya – Hyakkiyagyou June 10, 2009

Filed under: Kaya — solarblade @ 5:19 am
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hyakkiyagyou

Track Listing

  1. Ouka -Hyakkirambu Hen-
  2. Kagami Oni
  3. Hannya
  4. Kugutsu
  5. Kasha

1. Ouka -Hyakkiranbu Han-

The only track to really represent this era, Ouka begins the album off and also being rearranged does not surprise me since some of the tracks from “Glitter” ended up this way as well.  Now, the song sounds a bit different with added jingle bells and strings.  You still hear the original sound with the japanese-like sounds, but the mood has changed more into a wintry sound.  Hard to explain but that’s how it reminds me of it.  I’ll take the original please.

2. Kagami Oni

Mirror Demon?  That’s kind of pretty sweet title if you ask me.  It’s also a techno track which is pretty awesome as well.  Kaya’s vocals are deep and add in the fact there’s pipe organ and strings to make it more menacing and freaky which makes this an awesome listen.  It shows more of a gothic look to Kaya and it works in this case.

3. Hannya

Hannya starts off mysteriously with this clanking of some sort which kind makes things uneasy at first, but then these synths appear and Kaya’s softly sung vocals appear and once again sounds different than what I’m used to and I kind of like it.  The clanking does return and it comes in at various intervals which throws the song off a little bit, but without it, it’s a pretty good light electro track.

4. Kugutsu

Kugutsu is quite a dark track on the album which is quite obvious since the album’s overall meaning is demons basically.  Kugutsu however, isn’t that much to write about because of oddly slow it is.  I can picture this at a higher tempo than the one here and it kind of disappoints me.  It is nice to hear Kaya under some kind of vocal instrument…it’s pretty cool.  Still, not the best here.

5. Kasha

Then my hopes are answered with the final song, Kasha.  It’s basically trance and very fast especially for a Kaya song.  It’s got a pretty cool feel and the synth melody is awesome.  I love the guitar riffs though, they really made the song pretty epix and then the quieter part of the song has a clapping beat….this song was just full of surprises and I quite liked it alot.

 

 

Kaya somehow is still releasing great stuff and with this release it shows that he can do the darker stuff really really well.  Besides Ouka, the demon songs all worked well with him and at the same time did feel a little demonic to listen to.  Ok, Kasha might’ve been too light, but it was still awesome.  Even though we are getting close to ending his indies era, I thought he was getting better as an indies!

 

Asriel – QuoVadis May 9, 2009

Filed under: Asriel — solarblade @ 4:59 am
Tags: , ,

quovadis

Track Listing

  1. Hai’iro no Hitomi no Kenzoku
  2. roxalio
  3. xxx ni Sasagu Uta
  4. Dedicate
  5. 13 Banme no Unmei
  6. Dark of romantic
  7. kerveros
  8. Yubisaki no Tadoru Zankoku na Senritsu
  9. eternal melody
  10. Rouge no Kokuin
  11. Shuuen ni Saku Hana
  12. Glitter Rain

1. Hai’iro no Hitomi no Kenzoku

A very cold and empty strings section opens up the album to a good start.  It’s so freaky that the piano opening leads into a pretty cool rock track from the duo.  There’s other little tidbits like organ, and some orgel.  When KOKOMI comes in, the song sticks itself with the rock standards and she sounds pretty good.  It’s dark and it’s how I like them.

2. roxalio

roxalio comes up next with an organ opening the song up and hearing that with the loud rock instruments really stood out from the last track.  KOKOMI has more of stronger presence here which is fortunate for me because we get to hear her vocals more clearly, but at the same time, she’s hitting some sour notes along the way.  I guess I’m liking it as time goes by.

3. xxx ni Sasagu Uta

Unlike the last two tracks that slowly start up, xxx ni Sasagu Uta instantly starts off strong and honestly sounds like a bit more upbeat and not so much gothic-like.  KOKOMI’s vocals are a lot stronger here and I kind of like the mood the song is radiating.  The chorus is where things kind of get strange as her vocals get all over the place hitting low and high notes on an up and down kind of way….it just doesn’t work.

4. Dedicate

Dedicate returns us back into the darker sounds of the group.  The guitars are a lot more furious and in your face and the whole anxiety mood is carried well.  KOKOMI I think shines the most during the more slowish parts of this track.  Otherwise, this was a pretty cool track.

5. 13 Banme no Unmei

I’m starting to get a little tired of the same ole same ole.  13 Banme no Unmei, sounds like a fast waltz though so it does seperate itself enough away from the previous tracks and KOKOMI once again gives a powerful performance.  A bit later in the song, it gets harder and more towards a rock song, rather than the earlier waltz moments.  It’s definitly something fresh to hear on the album. 

6. Dark of romantic

Dark of romantic instantly reminded me of “xxx ni Sasagu Uta” with it’s harder yet upbeat sound.  So obviously, you can tell I’m kinda of getting tired of the sameness going around in this album.  So it’s basically the same kind of feeling with the track, but at least the chorus is a lot more tolerable and better as well. 

7. kerveros

I was happy that there’s a more hectic sound with kerveros because when you really take a listen into the melody without the guitars and such, there’s a pretty good melody throughout.  I actually think this is my favorite of the harder tracks because it’s so dark and shows off a terrifying mood as well.  Still, it kind of makes the album even more meh because of how similar the songs sound.

8. Yubisaki no Tandoru Zankoku na Senritsu

Finally something that doesn’t sound like another song, this song is a bunch of weirdness rolled up into one song.  First off it starts off mysteriously and with an orgel playing a melody.  Then the tracks goes into a very different sound not following a time signature straight which kept throwing me off.  At least it clears up after a while.  I don’t know but that part bothered me alot.  The rest of the song flowed well and this rock ballad definitly was better after a few listens.

9. eternal melody

eternal melody actually is the most upbeat song off the album.  Its got a great strings melody and the song has a pretty cool beat to it.  KOKOMI however does get covered up by the arrangement sadly.  I still like the track because it is its only flaw really.

10. Rouge no Kokuin

Then I start getting bored again because Rouge no Kokuin is another rock ballad song, but at least a good portion of it is in this ballad zone.  KOKOMI sounds pretty good and being filtered like that during the bridge sounded pretty nifty as well.  The chorus though sped the song up a bit.  Actually, this is a pretty good song as well. 

11. Shuuen ni Saku Hana

KOKOMI finally gets into a seiyuu voice for our next track and even though I don’t exactly prefer this style of singing, she does it well for a track that isn’t all hardcore or anything.  It’s actually quite calm considering the rest of the album’s stuff.  I feel though there’s better tracks than this one though.

12. Glitter Rain

Ending the album off is actually the only true ballad of the album.  KOKOMI’s vocals really sound distant and with only the acoustic guitar and some twinkling sounds, it sounds almost magical.  I definitly enjoyed the chorus because of the added piano hits that fuel it on.  I don’t know why, but it’s so good and awesome.  Definitly a nice way to end the album.

Tracks Recommended

  • Glitter Rain
  • kerveros
  • eternal melody
  • Yubisaki no Tandoru Zankoku na Senritsu
  • Rouge no Kokuin

Song of Avoidance

  • xxx ni Sasagu Uta

Asriel’s first and perhaps final indies album was actually maybe not the way it should’ve been handled because of how similar the songs were to one another minus a certain few.  Still, I gotta say KOKOMI sounds a lot better than she did on their first mini-album for sure.  Other than that, their major label debut comes in two weeks, so I’m wondering if it’ll sound totally different or something.

 

SCANDAL – YAH! YAH! YAH! HELLO SCANDAL April 28, 2009

Filed under: SCANDAL — solarblade @ 1:33 pm
Tags: , ,

yahyahywahhelloscandal

Track Listing

  1. Koi no Kajitsu
  2. Space Ranger
  3. Koi Mayou
  4. Kagerou

1. Koi no Kajitsu

Beginning this short mini-album, Koi no Kajitsu right from the start reminds me of something PUFFY would sing to.  Now I don’t who sings first, but she’s a got a pretty bad nasally voice, but the gal who sings in the bridge is quite good.  I don’t know how the ladies get through the chorus in one breath though.  It’s pretty wacky.  I thought it was a good track to start things off.

2. Space Ranger

Strings and some cybernetic sounds starts our next track and it actually sounds cool with how SCANDAL is working with it.  They shouldn’t hold their notes too long as they become flat pretty quickly and the music over drives them to actually yell out their lyrics. 

3. Koi Mayou

Koi Mayou is a bit better than “Space Ranger” because it’s all rock this time and one of the girls sounds really awesome and I love the strange things HARUNA is doing with her guitar.  There’s a lot of fun things about the song and everyone who’s singing is really showing excitement and energy.  This is my favorite song off the mini.

4. Kagerou

Kagerou definitly sounds like chatmonchy and I’m not sure if that’s a good thing.  BTW This is the only new track since the other three were digital singles.  I think it carried a good flow and the band sounded pretty strong, even the higher set notes sounded pretty good.  AWESOME!

 

 

SCANDAL’s first mini-album shows off that the girls do mean business.  Their sound kind of takes off of chatmonchy which is also an all-girl band so hearing the same influences between the two is tough and could be possible rivals since both groups are pretty popular (chatmonchy has been working way longer).  The mini is like a taste of what’s to come lol.

 

cosmeticROBOT – Serial Number 99 February 11, 2009

Filed under: cosmeticROBOT — solarblade @ 9:59 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

serialnumber99

Track Listing

  1. Serial Number 99
  2. Sentimental Time Machine
  3. Love Robobo
  4. Merci Melody

1. Serial Number 99

I was surprised at how a debut can really say about a group.  cosmeticROBOT’s debut A-side comes pretty aggressively and has a sparkly sound, but has a pretty heavy beat to it.  Nahu, Ayumi, and Ami seem harmonize well under the ever so famous vocoder, but the main focus is on the beat.  I can sense some guitar as well….it’s quite interesting even though Perfume has won up the same idea in “GAME”.  Still, aggressive debut = win.

2. Sentimental Time Machine

I’ve heard that this was a cover track, but I’m not entirely sure.  The trio here take on a more girly-idol track with that cute synth.  Problem is it doesn’t seem to really go anywhere and stays mainly the same throughout.  It’s just really too simplistic and oddly has a fantasy sound to it but it doesn’t help much.

3. Love Robobo

Love Robobo continues the more girly side of J-tek, but this time it’s quite smooth and less boring.  I still don’t know who’s who in the song, but they seem to sound good when they get their solo parts throughout.  A simple piano addition can make the difference and it did and it even had an actual PV to it. 

4. Merci Melody

Yeah, we finish this single with another girly track, but it seems to have a nice dance beat unlike the last two.  Like I said, there’s just a lot of fantasy sounds and cute synth bleeps and bloops all over.  Once again the girls seem to have good voices in their solo part, but the chorus is where they come together and recite the title, but it’s sadly repetitive and annoying.  It’s ok…just like “Serial Number 99” it got a live PV so meh from me.

 

 

Compared to portable, I think of cosmeticROBOT as an equal group to them.  They both can conjure up really good songs, but unlike portable who 2 tracks were really great, cosmeticROBOT was half/half for me.  Since they are somewhat of an idol group as one of the members was part of one beforehand, Sentimental time machine and RABUROBOBO was just not special, but SN99 and Merci Melody are pretty good J-tek tracks.  Can’t wait to see more from them.

 

Dual Theory – Ace Deuce February 9, 2009

Filed under: Dual Theory — solarblade @ 3:26 pm
Tags: , , ,

acedeuce

Track Listing

  1. Devia Initium (The Lonely Beginning)
  2. Diamonds
  3. Destiny In Disguise
  4. Castaway
  5. Nice Guys Finish Last
  6. Rockyhaven
  7. Senses Fail
  8. You Hold the Key
  9. High School is So Last Year
  10. Paranoia
  11. Golden Heart
  12. Last Night
  13. The Last Goodbye
  14. Overkill

1. Devia Initium (The Lonely Beginning)

LOL how many albums in a row did I review something that has a short opening?  Devia Initium has a sinister opening and I was definitly most impressed.  Youko and Hunter started to sing/speak whichever and they sounded almost dead goving, the track more appeal.  Then they split off to two different parts and then the song just comes to a close. 

2. Diamonds

Diamonds is Dual Theory’s most memorable track being used in one episode of Show Me Your News which is Youko’s podcast.  I have to say I love the piano melody played throughout, but Youko, high notes aren’t exactly your kit & kaboodle.  Song’s meaning was kind of romantic in a way and had a lot put into to it. 

3. Destiny In Disguise

Another song that I instantly loved at first listen, Destiny In Disguise is basically more upbeat and has a better piano melody IMO.  Youko even sounds better as well, even getting some of the harder notes right.  I swear Hunter singing the 2nd verse, I’m not sure why…but hmmm….I think the best part was when Youko was singing the chorus with just the guitar and piano melody.  I thought that was amazing.  The ending was a little random, but good nonetheless.

4. Castaway

Whenever I hear this song, it makes me feel free-spirited and then listening to the lyrics it’s quite romantic as well.  I’m already feeling that the album is going to be a huge difference than “Life on Display”.  I wouldn’t want to call this ethereal but the keyboard is making me think otherwise.  Hopeful little track.

5. Nice Guys Finish Last

Well, doesn’t the title seem truthful though?  He’s singing about how he’s putting his all and being a man and all he’s getting is just crap and being treated like it doesn’t mean anything.  Brutally honest and almost sad to hear.  I do like how Youko and Hunter play off after chorus with the ~It doesn’t really matter~ section. 

6. Rockyhaven

I was awe-ing at this track when I first listened to it.  I mean it’s not about love or any gushy shtuff.  It’s just a relaxing song about nature pretty much.  I mean there’s some hidden meanings because of the whole ~I feel so alive here, this place that’s within me~.  Maybe he’s talking about the mind, but give it a lively arrangement and well…it’s euphoric almost, that is until Youko hits that uber high note….that was whoa…

7. Senses Fail

We finally get a darker song with Senses Fail and it’s brutal.  I’m not sure what the topic is actually falling on, but with the ~failing senses~ and the otherwise dark lyrics it’s quite baffling.  I have to say I love that middle part when Hunter this part with multiple bass triplets and Youko’s evil speaking part, that was golden.  Amazing song to just pop up for me.

8. You Hold the Key

I’ll admit it right away, I didn’t connect to this song at all and still can’t manage to.  I mean it’s upbeat and it’s a positive song, don’t get me wrong….but there was something missing for me.  Lyrics are also hopeful in mind because the lover has the “key” to make him open up and such.  I think my initial not-liking was Youko’s high-pitching again…it’s a dangerous zone and most of the chorus was either in it or on the brim of it.

9. High School is So Last Year

After “Devia Initium” this track is the shortest track on the album not even making 3 minutes.  OMG, cussing FTW…..Anyways, it’s pretty much exactly what love is about in High School which is that relationships are shaky because you people can cheat and move on to other people and Youko in the later part remembers this person and proclaims that he’s had it better and doesn’t even wanna speak to em….so honest.

10. Paranoia

Yeah, this song was what was missing from the album.  Paranoia really is like a story in the song which is awesome.  The first verse is just so mean and the song continues to speak about via the verses.  The song is about, how he wonders what he did to make someone hate him and it bothers him like crazy.  I do kind of wish there was an ending to the story portion because it just left a huge cliffhanger IMO.

11. Golden Heart

We finally get a ballad and Golden Heart is a long one as well reaching past 6 minutes.  Usually, that’s a big no-no in ballad world because that’s just being mean and will make people get bored.  I really thought the melancholic arrangement with Youko’s deep vocals really put me in a mood.  It was an alright track, just too long-winded for me.

12. Last Night

When this started up, I immediatly thought this sounded like “High School is So Last Year”.  It’s quite to dark song given such a happy arrangement which shows some much needed sarcasm.  I’m pretty sure they’re talking about heartbreak, but I’m not entirely sure.  It’s alright, but the other tracks do manage to be better IMO.

13. The Last Goodbye

Awwww, the “last goodbye”?  I guess it has to happen when you breakup with someone.  Then again this could be incorporated in various situations and Youko is contemplating if it is the last one, but for right this is the last one.  I thought this would’ve been a good album finisher for obvious reasons but yes, pretty somber, but good track.

14. Overkill

We’re back to the “Devia Initium” instrumental to finish up the album.  It’s quite awesome hearing Youko speak out in a poetic way.  It’s so chilling and yet with such an interesting kind of way seems a little hopeful, but it’s just a interlude before going into our final track.  Overkill seems to be just like less memorable since it is a Youko-only track.  Youko…..high note warning!!!!  It’s alright, but “The Last Goodbye” would’ve been a more attainable to finish this album IMO. 

Tracks Recommended

  • Rockyhaven
  • Destiny In Disguise
  • Senses Fail
  • Diamonds
  • The Last Goodbye

You can see how much more work was put into this with all the new sounds that was included.  Another major difference was that this album wasn’t as dark and depressing as their previous album was which was surprising because of how many happy songs there were in contrast.  Some of the tracks did suffer of sounding a little alike and Youko’s new lover for high notes, but still a strong album, but I prefer their last one. BTW Happy B-day Youko!

 

Dual Theory – Life on Display January 15, 2009

Filed under: Dual Theory — solarblade @ 9:40 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

lifeondisplay

Track Listing

  1. Losing Grip
  2. Weapon Intangible
  3. Life on Display
  4. Four Years
  5. Better than My Best
  6. The Passion
  7. Freedom
  8. On My Own Again
  9. Answer
  10. Black Rose
  11. Dancing In the Dark
  12. Wait
  13. Song of Last Regrets
  14. The Final Letter
  15. Miss Sunshine
  16. Breakdown (Flood)

1. Losing Grip

I really didn’t expect such an abstract beat to open the album.  It’s kind of hard to describe it fully, but it’s quite the unusual sound.  Going on, this song has a very crazy meaning to it.  With a track called Losing Grip, it’s definitly understandable.  Oh yea, loving the keyboarded drum sound.  Cool way to begin the album.

2. Weapon Intangible

Dang, this song can really get depressing to the listener, I have to point it out.  Like the chorus is metaphorically saying to break his heart, cause it’s inevitable and I have to give props to that for pushing such a topic with sense with it.  Jeeze, Youko your whispering part was fantastic here. 

3. Life on Display

Ahhh, the title track.  Oh, so it’s like people want to see what you do next right?  That’s the kind of vibe I’m getting from this song.  Not many would exactly get the point first listen like me (This is my 4th time listening).  I didn’t really connect much with the song, but its nice musically I got to say.

4. Four Years

Pretty much scoping about life in high school (hence four years).  I have to agree with a lot what their saying because it’s usually the best years and Youko is singing about how they aren’t ready for college even though Youko is in college….(ironic?).  Then there’s this ~I won’t be who you want me to be~ line that’s also a focus point to the song.  Good song though.

5. Better than My Best

I see a little bit of a oops here.  Like, you guys said in the previous that I’m not gonna be who you want me to be and then ebunk that statement with this song, I find it quite amusing actually.  The song has a fun kind of beat to it, but with some unhappy lyrics.  I do like the honesty written with this track, so it’s a good listen me.

6. The Passion

In other words, he wants respect.  Luckily, this doesn’t affect him because ~he’s in his own little world~.  The speaking part was pretty nifty and the rest of the song is like a fantasy to listen to.  It’s funny to find such a happy song in the album full of depressing/sad/emotional tracks.

7. Freedom

Case in point, this track is definitly emotional and pretty sad.  I mean when all he wants is freedom, but all the inner chaos is happening, it’s hard to get that.  Put it to a pretty good sound and you get an A+ track.  Where’s the happiness?

8. On My Own Again

I always wonder if this is a steel drum sound playing with this song…hmmm.  Anyway I think the joys of being single is written here.  Other words, Youko and Hunter is pretty much bombing the other person.  Even more better is this whole fun sound, I personally love the entire thing, it’s hook after hook.  If there’s one song to listen from them, it’s this one. 

9. Answer

I think the darkest song in both music and lyrics, is Answer.  I really enjoyed the chanting in the background with Youko’s deeper voice.  It sent chills down my spine here.  OMG for big words like ~condenscending~ in the chorus it really kind of took a life on its own.  The guitar solo was really freaky too mwahaha.  Using metaphors a lot again, I think he made his point, hmm was this directed to anyone? o.0  Oh yea, this would make a great music video IMO

10. Black Rose

I like the arpeggio opening with Black Rose and then turns into a pretty rad pop track.  Once again using a metaphor ~Life is like a black rose~ as the main theme which is nice, but it’s so difficult to follow because the music is covering Youko and the chorus was fast…I still loved what I understood from it and the whole ~wither and die~ thing added it up for me.

11. Dancing In the Dark

I considered this a slower version of “Black Rose” but with strings played on ze keyboard.  I totally laughed a little when Hunter did the whole ~and he wish~ part in the bridge.  It was like random, but random needed since Youko prolly would sound confusing without it.  There’s something simplistic about the song that I really like.  Lyrics are once again kind of sad and lonesome, but how can you not like a song like this.

12. Wait

I think Youko’s strongest guitar playing is definitly apparant here by the opening.  Someone doesn’t exactly have a lot of patience because OMG they can’t take the whole waiting (hence the title).  ~If I was a Wiseman, I’d give up all hope~ talk about going far in their moods.  I’d definitly would hear this on the radio, I mean if it was on it, this’d be the song to be mainstream.  Wait, I love the double singing as well I have to note that. 

13. Song of Last Regrets

For being a song of Last Regrets, this wouldn’t have been my initial style to put it too.  It’s pretty upbeat, but the lyrics are amazingly depressing once again.  Sounds like one of them have been hurt by someone and either they are hurting hard or embarassed much.  I might be overly exaggerating this, but is suicide mentioned here? Maybe metaphorically?

14. The Final Letter

This song has such a nice sound with the piano melody going on and Youko’s more calmer vocals.  Songs topic?: break-up.  I like the way the chorus was written out and it’s pretty much basic and easy to follow.  The bridge though was great IMO.  Y’know there is one thing I do have a problem and that’s the basicness of it…I mean we know she’s gettin dumped…do we need anymore hints at it LOL

15. Miss Sunshine

Oddly, this track is the sore thumb of the album.  It sounds like a song you would hear when you wake up in the morning, which is nice since it has that dreaminess and Youko shows off a calm vocal sound which I have to give props to.  Even better is that Youko and Hunter harmonize almost perfectly here.  It’s their strongest track IMO on the album.

16. Breakdown (Flood)

Wait, there’s actual synth and this beat sounds like “Losing Grip” at first then this awesome synth beat comes in.  Youko is once again letting his guitar speak, totally cool.  All of  the Breakdown side is a guitar solo which means it’s the interlude before the vocal track Flood.  Flood finishes this long album up, but it kind of comes short.  I was expecting a more crazier finish since Breakdown was off the wall.  I think it precedes “Rockyhaven” since the similarities.  Jeeze, way to make water seem murderous…~The water is toxic~…..

Tracks Recommended

  •  On My Own Again
  • Miss Sunshine
  • Answer
  • Freedom
  • Weapon Intangible

What a dark album.  Life on Display was what it was to them at the time I think.  Very honest and angsty.  Most of the songs were either a sad or evil topic which was surprising, especially after the EP.  Some of the meanings would pass over people’s head because of the upbeat sounds which included drums this time.  It’s a good album, but be prepared to get a little emotional.

 

Aural Vampire – DEATH FOLDER January 8, 2009

Filed under: Aural Vampire — solarblade @ 1:09 am
Tags: , , , ,

c42bc3f4ce921b406f4dcba423b7c00a

Track Listing

  1. Economical Animal Superstar
  2. Darkwave Surfer
  3. Vampire Ecstasy (Kohki Destruct System Remix)

1. Economical Animal Superstar

You know what?  I have never been introduced in this style of music, Industrial Dance xD.  Economical Animal Superstar would be a great start with it’s quite dark synth melody and EXO-CHIKA’s filtered vocals.  She really does sound amazingly dark for a female singer.  I got to say though, this is one freaky song and I love every minute of it.

2. Darkwave Surfer

Continuing on we have this almost trance-styled track, Darkwave Surfer.  You still have the industrial sound and EXO-CHIKA is more filtered in this track, which makes it hard to hear what she’s saying sometimes.  Luckily, the music is what basically saves the song from being too mindless. 

3. Vampire Ecstasy (Kohki Destruct System Remix)

Alright, so the single came after the album which is OK, and I haven’t heard the original yet, but this version does sound different against the other two tracks on the single.  Not only is their more sound, it’s pretty much a rock track.  I kind of like the style, but I’m just used to their synth stuff basically.

 

 

Aural Vampire debut single is pretty cool and does represent the group’s overall sound.  The Vampire Ecstasy remix was a cool thing to add on.  Still this single is pretty high on my listened to list.