Kurayami Monogatari

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GACKT – Flower June 30, 2009

Filed under: GACKT — solarblade @ 4:59 am
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flower

Track Listing

  1. Flower
  2. In Flames
  3. Flower (Instrumental)
  4. In Flames (Instrumental)

1. Flower

Who would’ve expect GACKT (now penned as) to release a hard rock track in the name of Flower?  I thought we were going to get a more softer track.  I was kind of happy with what we got here because it loud and stronger than a good portion of the tracks released in this project.  There’s just a lot f everything in this trac GACKT sounds good here.  Good track in its own respect.

2. In Flames

In Flames actually brings out the more experimental side of GACKT again.  In Flames is quite the mysterious track in this collection with it’s distant sounding piano and guitar passages.  After a while things start getting crazy with a heavier rock sound.  It kind of has this epic factor just like how “LOST ANGELS” had, but even more creepier.  I think he saved the best for last.

 

 

GACKT ends this off his month-long project with the best single of the four.  Flower shows off what he’s best known for and his rock sound continues to be surprisingly amazing.  In Flames though was clearly better and I loved how eerie it is then it turns hardcore and stuff and goes back and forth.  Wow, he did live up to the end.

 

HIGH and MIGHTY COLOR – Tadoritsuku Basho/Oxalis June 29, 2009

Filed under: HIGH and MIGHTY COLOR — solarblade @ 11:36 pm
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tadoritsukubasho

Track Listing

  1. Tadoritsuku Basho
  2. Oxalis
  3. Tadoritsuku Basho (MOVIE VERSION)
  4. Tadoritsuku Basho (Less vocal track)

1. Tadoritsuku Basho

After the amazing “Enrai”, Tadoritsuku Basho went for a more pop like sound which is pretty interesting since Tadoritsuku Basho isn’t all about heavy sounds and hard rock sounds.  It’d definitely different from what they’ve previously been releasing and in this case, I’m not a big fan of the song because well, it’s quite boring actually xD.  Maaki tries to keep some emotion and Yuusuke’s rapping parts were covered by the music so it was pretty tough to follow. 

2. Oxalis

Same problem lies within Oxalis because this track is basically the same exact track.  I mean it is a different melody but the same emotion just pops off here.  It’s also a pop/rock ballad which kind of disappointed me.  Sadly, the song is quite worse actually because Yuusuke is singing in a bad way….oh well….

3. Tadoritsuku Basho (MOVIE VERSION)

So both songs were used in the same movie where Maaki was lead singer for a fictional band.  Weird that the A-side’s movie version is on this single while Oxalis’s appears on the upcoming album.  If you really think about it, Yuusuke isn’t even part of the song which I guess is good and the song sounds a bit more raw I guess?  Then after a while, I start to miss Yuusuke’s parts and the song sadly feels empty….hmmm

 

 

Honestly, this is HandMC’s worst single to date.  Both songs did nothing for me and they were both boring rock ballads.  The movie version made Tadoritsuku Basho sound even more boring than it already was.  I’m sorry but what the hell happened here.

 

 

Anna Tsuchiya – Virgin Cat June 27, 2009

Filed under: Anna Tsuchiya — solarblade @ 11:28 pm
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CTCR-40279

Track Listing

  1. Virgin Cat
  2. Imitation night
  3. Virgin Cat (LAVA Remix)

1. Virgin Cat

I can only fathom to question why Anna did a single especially since she already has one senseless track, “BUBBLE TRIP”.  Though this song is heavily drenched in pervy thoughts hence the title VIRGIN Cat.  Now the song has a jazzy kind of feel to it which fits how cats are usually portrayed, you know sneaky and such….it’s oddly fitting.  Still the thing that makes me laugh hardcore is both the lyrics ~let’s get the rat~ and the end where she meows….that was a little disturbing.

2. Imitation night

To throw the single off, Imitation night is a very dark rock track even for Anna since it’s all about the heavy guitar riffs and being loud.  She does let up on the bridge which is cool as hell.  I’m not sure if she’s singing in full English, but the song is definitely something else and I love it.

3. Virgin Cat (LAVA Remix)

Yep, there’s a remix of Virgin Cat and somehow manages to take the jazzy side out of it and give it a Caribbean feel which kind of deteriorates the original feel to the song, but it does sound soothing because it’s very laidback and nice.  They even throw in a trumpet solo midway and that was a nice touch.  Pretty good remix, even though it lost the initial feeling.

 

 

So ending off the NUDY SHOW! era, Virgin Cat really did split the fans out as to whether if the song was good or just really really ridiculous.  I’m gonna say that musically it’s something different from Anna, but lyrically it’s naughty and a bit of tease when it comes down to it.  I mean at least the lyrics made sense unlike “BUBBLE TRIP”.  Imitation night….why wasn’t this on the album?  It was so hardcore and well it does kind of reminds me of album track, “BLOOD ON BLOOD”.  Remix was a good treat, doesn’t beat the original though…OK single.

 

Yuka Kagiyama – Love player June 25, 2009

Filed under: Yuka Kagiyama — solarblade @ 4:33 pm
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loveplayer

Track Listing

  1. Love player
  2. Akuma wo Nemurasete
  3. Love player (Instrumental)
  4. Akuma wo Nemurasete (Instrumental)

1. Love player

I’m actually happy to see someone debut with an actual hard track from avex and Yuka does this quite well.  Her vocals aren’t horribly high and she has quite a sweet control over her voice as she shows her vocals.  Now the song is pretty dark sounding with furious guitars and various quirks from the keyboard.  There’s even a sweet guitar solo in the middle of the song.  Gosh, it’s furious and in your face and I like it alot.  It’s even better that the PV was basically an homage to Resident Evil.

2. Akuma wo Nemurasete

The B-side is also just as freaky and sweet as “Love player” was and I quite like this track alot as well.  It’s a bit slower than the A-side, but it does also replace the furious guitar riffs with a more intricate arrangement with added strings.  Her vocals really sound nice here and she hits the notes pretty well.  Did want her to make this a bit more explosive like “Love player” but this was still pretty good as a B-side.

 

 

Wow, now this debut was pretty hardcore and I like it alot fur sure.  Yuka really put the evil in her debut and that’s one huge risk to take especially for a debut from avex and it worked for her.  I actually seeing this gal going far because I quite like her powerful vocals and her rock style.  *RECOMMENDED*

 

POLYSICS – YOUNG OH! OH! June 24, 2009

Filed under: POLYSICS — solarblade @ 11:59 am
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youngohoh

Track Listing

  1. YOUNG OH! OH!
  2. Do you remember?
  3. Shout Aloud! (Live at Shibuya CLUB QUATTRO 09/04/09)

1. YOUNG OH! OH!

What’s this another song from them?  Alright, POLYSICS once again shows off their wild side, sadly it isn’t as in your face and crazy like last A-side, “Shout Aloud!”.  There’s actually a melody going on and HAYASHI is singing a lot more than he did last single which is cool because I love his wailing, it’s smexii.  Like I said though, it’s got better flow, but the energy was toned down a bit.  Bad thing though was that well, it is short I mean like under 3 minutes short…

2. Do you remember?

I love the bass line that opens up the B-side, and even better the guitar riff as well.  It’s funny because HAYASHI sounds a little different than he did, I’m not sure what it is about it, but whatever.  KAYO also has a solo singing part and she oddly sounds seiyuuish which fits into the song.  Damn, they did up the energy though.  LOL it’s funny that all the members have a solo by themselves one after another…I was like XDDDDD.  Ok this was so much more interesting than the A-side….sadly, it’s even shorted than “YOUNG OH! OH!”

3. Shout Aloud! (Live at Shibuya CLUB QUATTRO 09/04/09)

If they didn’t put the cherry up on the single, they just did with the live version of the last A-side.  I gotta say, them live are just as exciting and explosive as the main mix as the band are crazy and I love YANO (drummer) he’s friggin great here.  Everyone else doing great and the bridge has the lack of vocoder which does sound weird, but y’know KAYO and the chorus, even her voice is pitched a little higher.  Kind of odd that it fades away when the next song starts, but w/e.

 

 

The second single of the era, YOUNG OH! OH! is a very small step down from the last single, but that’s because they went with a more respectable rock/new wave track to ease things after the crazy stuff they pulled on “Shout Aloud!/Beat Flash.  Do you remember? though was the crazy song off the single and the quirks that went on made that memorable to me.  Live Version of Shout Aloud! was what I was hoping they’d be like: energetic, fun, and crazy.  Sweet single overall.

 

GACKT – LOST ANGELS June 23, 2009

Filed under: GACKT — solarblade @ 8:51 am
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lostangels

Track Listing

  1. LOST ANGELS
  2. No Reason
  3. Suddenly
  4. LOST ANGELS (Instrumental)
  5. No Reason (Instrumental)
  6. Suddenly (Instrumental)

1. LOST ANGELS

I’m pleasantly surprised that LOST ANGELS begins with a beautiful orchestral opening that kind of goes back to what Gackt started out with, but then kind of a mood killer happens as the songs becomes a rock track from Gackt.  I mean I’m all for Gackt rock songs, but it would’ve been nice to have something from him that wasn’t rock since well the last 3 singles had rock tracks.  I do have to say the verses were nice as it was back into the piano + orchestral sound.  The chorus was all rock.  It seems like easy Final Fantasy music since it’s written in a nice epic way.  Good A-side.

2. No Reason

I was surprised the No Reason was even more hardcore then “LOST ANGELS” just for the fact it reminds me once again of “BLACK STONE”.  I do have to say that I enjoy there’s a hook to it and pretty steady and heavy on the beats.  Still, it’s kind of meh to me right now, so I can’t say I enjoy this track as much.

3. Suddenly

Suddenly oddly begins with a quiet instrumentation and in the background you can hear a dial-up tone like the one used in Ayu’s “Mirror/Mirrocle World”.  Then it becomes another rock track, but it does make itself stand out with it’s medium-paced feel to it.  It still feels a little less memorable and maybe somewhat boring as well.  I think it’s a track I have to get myself to like it.

 

 

Yeesh, Gackt’s 3rd of the project isn’t any better than “Faraway ~Hoshi ni Negai wo~ which is unfortunate especially since it has two B-sides tacked on it.  LOST ANGELS is really good, showcasing the epic sound that he usually puts out and could be the best of the 3 A-sides.  No Reason and Suddenly are alright, but they both have flaws that I’m pretty sure any fan of his would instantly pull out.  Hope “Flower” will end this right.

 

Stereopony – Hydrangea ga Saiteiru June 18, 2009

Filed under: Stereopony — solarblade @ 2:25 pm
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hydrangea ga saiteru

Track Listing

  1. Seishun ni, Sono Namida ga Hitsuyou da!
  2. I do it
  3. Komorebi no Journey
  4. Namida no Mukou
  5. Otomegokoro Hey Hey Hey
  6. Nakanaide
  7. effective line
  8. Sweet Blue
  9. Tokai no Mori
  10. Shiawase no Oka de Kurashitai
  11. My Mistake
  12. Hitohira no Hanabira
  13. Aozora Very good days!!

1. Seishun ni, Sono Namida ga Hitsuyou da!

We begin the album off with the main promotional track off the album and oddly enough it’s kind of the cuter stuff that was basically all of the B-sides of the singles of the era.  AIMI’s vocals seem to have gotten a bit better for these kind of songs and some points I can tell they were being somewhat serious.  I think right now it’s the only cute song I can really handle from em. 

2. I do it

Representing the final single of the era, I do it still kind of stands out from the rest because it’s clearly written by YUI so the arrangement is a little bit different than anything they released previous and for that it comes as a disappointment because like I said in the single review, AIMI’s stressing hardcore in the vocals and I’m not really into it.  Still the worst A-side of the era.

3. Komorebi no Journey

I really enjoyed Komorebi no Journey’s more relaxed rock sound and everyone is playing at a pretty calm level and AIMI isn’t sounding stressed.  Other than that the song does come off as little boring at places but it’s a nice song otherwise.

4. Namida no Mukou

I still think Namida no Mukou is Stereopony’s best A-side and still one of their best songs they have right now.  It’s pretty powerful and since it has the anime tie-in the formula makes this one, one their more epic songs as well.  There’s just a really strong presence from all three members.  I mean there’s a small amount of synths involved and I quite liked it lot.  Amazing track and best A-side

5. Otomegokoro Hey Hey Hey

I’m surprised that this track is under 3 minutes because Stereopony decided to just go all out rock here and AIMI’s back into a more cute voice which is fine because the guitar riffs and overall catchiness works for me.  It’s one of the anthem-like songs so prepare to yell with the song.  Short but sweet.

6. Nakanaide

Shockingly enough our next track is actually Stereopony’s first full on ballad.  It’s nice to finally hear something slow from the group, but the song sounds pretty cheaply made especially in the beginning with the keyboard, I was like (someone’s poor).  After a little bit of AIMI singing, it’s replaced by strings and AIMI’s guitar playing.  It sucks that it’s also short barely making over 3 minutes, but this was nice and shows the girls that they can do slower tracks.

7. effective line

I’m guessing this is an interlude because it’s a little over a minute and surprisingly it shows the girls more wild and harder side and there’s even vocals here.  I was surprised at how high octane the song was and really hoped that the song was a full track.  Kind of like how I thought of Ayu’s “Mirror”. 

8. Sweet Blue

Sweet Blue continues a pretty nice rock sound and somehow AIMI actually is singing stronger here which is fortunate for me.  It’s a bit hardcore and it also has calm moments which evens out the song pretty well.  There’s not too much that can be said about it, but it’s pretty good.

9. Tokai no Mori

Showing off their calmer side again, Tokai no Mori is a little more carefree then their normals songs and this really screams YUI to me for some reason as it does remind me of “SUMMER SONG” and I like this track a lot more than “I do it”.  AIMI was alright, but she doesn’t sound amazing like on a few other tracks, but this’ll do.

10. Shiawase no Oka de Kurashitai

Things get even more calmer when this track pops up and oddly enough it’s just AIMI for most of the song playing the acoustic.  For being a 2 minute track AIMI outdone herself with a pretty nice acoustic ballad, though once again it did leave me wanting a lot more again.  They are such teases I swear.

11. My Mistake

Whenever the song opens up it makes me think it’s an ending to an anime.  It just screams it to me, I actually think the song sounds pretty Western just with female vocals which is pretty cool.  I love how they are all rocking and get quiet through the verses.  It’s just so cool and pretty sweet.  Another one of my favorite tracks off this album.

12. Hitohira no Hanabira

I’m surprised they’d stick this track near the end of the album since it’s another one of their great songs.  I think though the chorus is one of the most catchiest choruses I’ve heard in a while and I like AIMI’s vocals here as well.  I’m surprised it wasn’t more popular than “Namida no Mukou” because this track was tied-in to Bleach.

13. Aozora Very good days!!

Ending off the album in a playful note, Aozora Very good days!! is one of the songs that sound really good played on the beach.  It sadly is not that very good to me and it’s actually the worst song off the album, but the verses are good it’s that chorus that bothers me the most.  WHYYYY!!!  Oh well, so much for a summer song.

Tracks Recommended

  • Namida no Mukou
  • My Mistake
  • effective line
  • Hitohira no Hanabira
  • Nakanaide

Song of Avoidance

  • I do it

Stereopony’s debut is quite average actually.  Don’t get me wrong, there’s a bunch of tracks that really showed the girls talents and it’s good, but sometimes it kind of runs a bit stale going through the album.  The fact that some of the songs were pretty short helped, but those were the songs I wanted to hear more of actually.  Still, I think they’ll continue to do well if they keep up songs that are powerful and epic.