Kurayami Monogatari

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Mao Denda – Nakitaku Naru Kedo July 1, 2009

Filed under: Mao Denda — solarblade @ 4:40 am
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nakitakunarukedo

Track Listing

  1. Nakitaku Naru Kedo
  2. Lights and Shades
  3. Bitter Sweet -Bedtime Version-

1. Nakitaku Naru Kedo

A beautiful piano melody opens up Nakitaku Naru Kedo, the song sounds quite smooth and very in her zone especially after her last A-side which was a ballad.  Mao’s voice is alright, not as soothing as it was in “Bitter Sweet”, but that’s because the song is more upbeat for her and makes her go into high notes in a very thin fashion.  Other than the chorus finisher, the rest of the song flows quite nicely and is another good track from her.

2. Lights and Shades

Our B-side is actually a little more urban and a bit more upbeat as well and sounds kind of like something that would’ve been released in the 90’s with all the beats and keyboarded sounds.  It’s better than the A-side because she is more together vocally and her sweet vocals make the song sound so good and quite sexy at points.  YAY!

3. Bitter Sweet -Bedtime Version-

So we get another remix, but this time in the form of her last A-side.  Now this time, Bitter Sweet actually has a lighter feel to it.  There’s not a lot of heavy percussion present and the song’s strings and piano line is brought forward.  Otherwise it’s basically the same song at hand.  I continue to like her vocals in this song, so I can’t complain too much.

 

 

Mao actually did better on this single clearly because all the songs were nice tracks and shows her genre off fine.  Nakitaku Naru Kedo is the only to really have a fault and that was the vocals weren’t exactly making her sound that good.  Lights and Shades and the Bitter Sweet remix though were all-around good.

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Mai Kuraki – Winter Bells June 30, 2009

Filed under: Mai Kuraki — solarblade @ 12:21 am
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winterbells

Track Listing

  1. Winter Bells
  2. thankful
  3. always -Gomi’s Lair Club Mix- (Radio Edit)
  4. Winter Bells ~Instrumental~

1. Winter Bells

I’m not sure why the song starts out in the studio with some guy talking…anyways, whenever someone would ask me name a song that reminds me of Mai Kuraki, Winter Bells comes up first because well, it’s so joyous and giddy in a good way.  Mai’s vocals are a bit soft-spoken, but I love this song too much for my own good.  She chose a great song to be an A-side IMO

2. thankful

thankful is of course the ballad of the single and sadly it’s terribly bland.  I mean it’s got piano and a light R&B sound going on and well, you can’t get any more unoriginal after this.  It does gradually get better and more musically better as well…but ~I’m so sankful?!?~ whoa Mai-K, fix your English please xD

 

 

Mai-K does her self good here with Winter Bells, the overly fun and joyous winter song and thank god it wasn’t a ballad….thankful was that and I quite hated it for sure….not the most original track she’s done, but I know she can do better for sure.

 

Hitomi Shimatani – Ichiba ni Ikou June 29, 2009

Filed under: Hitomi Shimatani — solarblade @ 11:57 pm
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Ichibaniikou

Track Listing

  1. Ichiba ni Ikou
  2. SPLASH
  3. Ichiba ni Ikou (Instrumental)
  4. SPLASH (Instrumental)

1. Ichiba ni Ikou

Well, we finally get something new and original from Hitomi and it also becomes one of the styles Hitomi gets to be known for a lot.  Ichiba ni Ikou and a Spanish flavor to it and it’s quite ethnic and quite cool for her.  There could be some Asian influences as well, but this song has a nice summery feel to it that would make anyone sway their hips to it.  It’s a catchy track I’ll say and I like it.

2. SPLASH

SPLASH is also Spanish-influenced as well but features a vivid cast of brass within the songs entirety.  I actually prefer this track over “Ichiba ni Ikou” since it sounds more together and Hitomi’s vocals shine better in the song.  I don’t know why, but this song is definitly a strong ass B-side, can’t help but love it.

 

 

Oh wow avex….who knew you’d get it right on the 3rd single of the “PAPILLON” era.  Unlike the awkward “Kaihouku” or cover “papillon”, this time Hitomi went all out latin on us and I loved this single good.  Both Ichiba ni Ikou and SPLASH took the fun in latin tracks and made em her own and it worked very well.  I’m even more elated that both tracks appear on the album, that made me happy!!!!

 

Ai Kago – no hesitAtIon

Filed under: Ai Kago — solarblade @ 9:48 pm
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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.

 

Rina Aiuchi – Boom-Boom-Boom

Filed under: Rina Aiuchi — solarblade @ 2:54 pm
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boomboom

Track Listing

  1. Boom-Boom-Boom
  2. ALRIGHT
  3. ROCK STEADY
  4. Boom-Boom-Boom -instrumental-

1. Boom-Boom-Boom

Ahhhh, I love the startup to Boom-Boom-Boom, sadly I was one of those people who thought it was going to be a pop track, but instead we actually got a ballad this time around, which was a WTF moment for me.  At least that’s what I thought before the chorus hit when it got back into a more rocker side to it.  I don’t know, but the various tempo changes threw me off in the song.  It’s alright, just a bit messy as an A-side.

2. ALRIGHT

ALRIGHT takes the darker route with Rina and wow, I actually kind of like this style from Rina because not only does it sound dark, Rina’s singing and the distant sounding piano just seemed to work this song very well and I love it.  It could be one of her best B-sides she’s ever had…surprising right?

3. ROCK STEADY

Damn, she struck gold on the single with the B-sides.  ROCK STEADY, also in a rock mood definitly gots the freaky stuff going on and with the morphed strings in the BKGD and the fierce guitar riffs, I was surprised at how cool it was.  The chorus does need a little work at not being happy and a lighter mood, but other than that it’s another sweet B-side.

 

 

Rina finishes off the “PLAYGIRL” era with an above average single.  Boom-Boom-Boom to me is actually sounding like filler material against both of the B-sides.  ALRIGHT was dark and cool while ROCK STEADY was pretty cool and maybe summer-like?  I don’t know, but this single has the best B-side so far in her discography.

 

KOTOKO – snIpe June 28, 2009

Filed under: KOTOKO — solarblade @ 12:44 am
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snipe

Track Listing

  1. snIpe
  2. Close to me… -I’VE in BUDOKAN 2009 Live ver.-
  3. snIpe -instrumental-

1. snIpe

Well, it isn’t surprising that KOTOKO would have a more synthed up track this time around and after hearing “L’Oiseau bleu” and KOTOKO’s other single this week, I was expecting someone getting a very energetic track and snIpe covers that pretty well.  Now KOTOKO doesn’t have the most attractive vocals from I’VE SOUND, but her vocals oddly seem right here.  She actually shouts a bit which works here and there’s one part in the chorus where that yell sound horrid, but the song’s dance style was nice.  I like it.

2. Close to you… -I’VE in BUDOKAN 2009 Live ver.

Just like Mami’s live track, Close to you… is also from the I’VE SOUND compilation “OUT FLOW”.  It’s a bit of a slower pop track this time around and it’s kinda relaxing for a KOTOKO track.  Her vocals here are mostly fine except when she tries to get cute for some of the notes…it’s pretty bad there.  Not a bad live, but Mami’s was better.

 

 

Released on the same day that “ao-iconoclast/PIGEON” was released, snIpe was something else.  Unlike my earlier review of Mami’s single, KOTOKO’s was a bit less liked maybe?  I’m not huge on this live, but the main track was nice and danceable which everyone knows I like.  So it’s in the air lol.

 

Koda Kumi – Kiseki June 27, 2009

Filed under: Koda Kumi — solarblade @ 11:56 pm
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kiseki

Track Listing

  1. Kiseki
  2. LOVE HOLIC
  3. life
  4. Kiseki (Instrumental)
  5. LOVE HOLIC (Instrumental)
  6. life (Instrumental)

1. Kiseki

Kuu, oh Kuu….R&B ballads aren’t exactly your thing girl.  It does kind of fall in through her other tracks that are in the same boat.  I’ll say though that her vocals sound really nice here and the music is soothing, but I think that’s about it that’s really good about it.  It’s just a basic R&B ballad nothing more or nothing less really.

2. LOVE HOLIC

Thank god!  LOVE HOLIC is like one of Kuu’s best songs of the era simply because it’s fun, energetic, and just lively.  It’s a little bit of silly and cute rolled in one and I quite enjoyed it since she hasn’t done anything relatively close to it.  I wonder if this was a summer song.  hmmmm, sweet song.

3. life

Another R&B ballad-like track?  Yup, it’s a bit more upbeat though so it’s kind of in the middle between the other two tracks.  Luckily, I like this a lot more than Kiseki, because it keeps my interest and her vocals are a bit more interesting.  I think the bridge was my favorite part, it just seemed to flow right.  Nice pop song, another B-side I enjoyed immensely.

 

 

After the amazing “Chase” and “LOVE & HONEY”…Kiseki would be the meh single clearly just because Kiseki was just another typical Kuu R&B flavored ballad.  Definitely not her forte 4th album into her career.  LOVE HOLIC was Kuu treading on new ground with a summer track and I liked it alot.  life was also good as well, showing off her pop side.  Iono…where this era is gonna end off at lol xD