Kurayami Monogatari

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capsule – Sugarless GiRL June 29, 2009

Filed under: capsule — solarblade @ 6:38 pm
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capsule

Track Listing

  1. Welcome to my World
  2. Starry Sky
  3. REALiTY
  4. Sugarless GiRL
  5. Catch my breath
  6. Spider
  7. MUZiC
  8. melting point
  9. Sound of Silence
  10. Secret Paradise
  11. Star Sniper (iTunes exclusive)

1. Welcome to my World

All that’s going on here is just a talking opener to the album.  That’s just because we love our stock vocals right?  It’s kind of freaky actually since it’s a female robotic voice….shocker right?

2. Starry Sky

That voice actually reappears into our first track off the album which was also the lone A-side released single for the album.  Starry Sky does drag itself at the start since it has a long instrumental before Toshiko comes in and sings off.  Now right from the start, you can tell this is a evolution of capsule because of the harder synth style and J-tek style that has taken over.  Now all of the vocoder also works here as well giving Toshiko something to make her off vocals work and this is a good way to begin the album.

3. REALiTY

I’ll be honest, the first B-side off the album, REALiTY is another surprise, especially to the more Shibuya-kei fans because not only does it not feature Toshiko it’s got a male vocalist going on here and I kind of like the songs where Nakata uses a male voice for a song (like “Phantom”).  After a while it does become a little too formulaic and maybe a bit repetitive, but y’know how J-tek works.

4. Sugarless GiRL

The next three tracks, are like the trinity to capsule on this album.  Starting off with Sugarless GiRL which was a B-side to “Starry Sky” (WTF, why is this a B-side?????).  Clearly Nakata didn’t have high hopes, but this song would be the epitome to what capsule new sound was like and was further driven for other acoustically driven J-tek songs like Perfume’s “Computer City”.  To be quite honest, it is their best song they’ve had so far.  I mean it isn’t as heavy like the last two tracks, but it’s enough to dance too and Toshiko returns as well.  Toshiko also added some emotion to the song which made it even better….ahhhh this song is a legend.

5. Catch my breath

I kind of consider this to be a long interlude rather than a full on track…I mean well it’s two parts repeated and Toshiko isn’t even it (at least I don’t think so).  Why I consider it part of the trinity?  Well it bridges “Sugarless GiRL” and “Spider”.  Now this has a heavier beat and it sounds dark but the thing that gets me, is that the lyrics are hard to decipher.  It’s those damn stock vocals, but in my mind, I think not knowing what they are saying is actually quite different.  ~It’s nice to know that you were there.  Thanks for acting like you care, I can hardly catch my breath~  Sweet ass line.

6. Spider

Then we get to Spider, Damn…this was one mindfuck of a song going around IMO.  Toshiko returns and she brought freaky in a new way.  The arrangement does have electric guitar which is pretty cool and the heavy dance beats continue.  Seriously though, Toshiko’s lack of emotion in the song worked especially when the topic is about how she’s stuck in love and this person is like a spider.  The chorus though kind of draggy, it pretty dark-like and eerie especially when Toshiko is all like ~spidaaaaaaaah~

7. MUZiC

Enough of that fangasm xD.  MUZiC kind of bores me actually.  I mean there’s a bit of a lulz factor to it, since the song sounds like something from some gay porno.  There’s some moans here and there and the beats is jumpy which is nice.  I just found this song to just fly by me, but it’s funny to hear it once in a while, just for those moans.  After a while stock vocals return too….hmmm lack of Toshiko FTL.

8. melting point

Strange to have a piano interlude on an electro capsule album….It just doesn’t seem to fit at all on here (then again, it wouldn’t really fit on any of their other albums).  So it’s longer than the opener and I guess it gives us a break from the album.

9. Sound of Silence

~I’ve never felt this sound of silence!~  Oh wow, this would be under something different on the album as it is more pop-laced than the other tracks, but once again no Toshiko in sight.  It’s more around the club/house sound and I quite like it actually since the music sounds easily like a Perfume tune, but with stock vocals.  It’s quite interesting and I like it, though throw in some Perfume though….xD

10. Secret Paradise

Ending off the main album, Secret Paradise is quite the odd track IMO.  I don’t know why but it seems ethereal as a J-tek track, then again it actually sounds like something off their last album so it’s nice to see something on here that’s like that.  Still the whole sound of it is quite nice actually. 

11. Star Sniper

So if you bought the album via iTunes, you get another track…hmmm Star Sniper is different from the other tracks in the way it sounds a little tribal almost or maybe that’s me.  I love the heavy synths playing around here.  There’s some whispering going around which bothers me, since iono what language it’s in….French?  Who knows, I guess after all that the song just doesn’t make me like it much…where’s my Toshiko?

Tracks Recommended

  • Sugarless GiRL
  • Spider
  • Catch my breath
  • Sound of Silence

Song of Avoidance

  • Star Sniper

capsule really made their fans turn their heads in two directions with this album.  Some like the new fresh sound Nakata was using on the album while others were basically shunning them because they lost their original sound altogether.  For me, I actually love this album and shows Nakata can do a lot more than pico-pop and thrust himself into the J-tek field.  Sugarless GiRL is one of their best if not their best album.

 

MEG – BEAUTIFUL May 26, 2009

Filed under: MEG — solarblade @ 10:58 am
Tags: , , ,

beautiful

Track Listing

  1. DAYS
  2. PRECIOUS
  3. TELEPHONE
  4. LIES
  5. STAR
  6. STAND
  7. WHY
  8. JOKER
  9. SKIN
  10. BEAUTIFUL
  11. FREAK <yasutaka nakata remix>*

* = only on DVD

1. DAYS

DAYS begins the album off….but oddly it’s an introduction and it’s quite bad.  The synths are like really bad because they are on these horrible chords and add on with MEG’s long and drawn out singing it really seems like it’s too slow for it’s own good.  The later half she’s talking against the synth issues and then kind of ends.  Yikes, this was not the way to begin an album off at all!

2. PRECIOUS

PRECIOUS is actually the only single to really represent the album which is kind of unfortunate in some cases.  Luckily, since it’s release last year in the summer it’s been oddly getting better and catchy.  Even though it’s considered old, PRECIOUS is still the very spacey electropop track that I’ve fallen in love with.  MEG’s vocals are a little deeper than normal which is cool.  Yes, I can’t mention this song without mentioning it’s PV with the cats YES PEOPLE CATS!!!

3. TELEPHONE

Our first new track comes up and it starts out hopeful since it’s acoustic guitar and synths which usually in Nakata talk = amazing song.  Well, don’t be surprised, but it’s quite awesome.  There’s some instances where I think Nakata is channeling Ami’s last album because I get that feel, but otherwise it’s still MEG-like and I kind of like it. 

4. LIES

Of the previews, I liked LIES a lot.  It reminds me of another MEG song at the beginning and I can’t remember at all.  Anyways, after that a very cool synth melody MEG comes in again and the song becomes something that tells me, that the should’ve been faster because I’m almost bored, but luckily the chords and melody are pretty good.  It sounds like “SUPERSONIC” got it’s tempo shot down basically.

5. STAR

A nice piano line begins STAR off, but quickly it gets really bothersome as it just kind of continues on (at least it changes notes).  STAR also brings out the fact that it’s the first ballad of the album which is so better than the songs off of “BEAM”.  Sometimes I think it’s a little too boring, but at least there’s something that keeps me interested in the song and I think it’s the whole natural vs. synthetic sound going on.  Good song.

6. STAND

STAND to me sounds a bit more like her “STEP” works which is nice to hear and then hearing more of the acoustic guitar again interested me good.  Though the rhythm seems a bit weird at the start, but things pick up after a while and it sounds like one of the stand (pun) out tracks from the album.  It’s quite nice to hear overall.

7. WHY

WHY though was the track that I wanted to hear as well because it’s hard and definitly freaking cool.  The synths from Nakata doesn’t sound much like anything he’s done on the album or any single…well….maybe “ONE”.  MEG is oddly sounding pretty interested especially in the chorus and to be honest…WHY is the “Mysterious” off this album since it was so out of left field here.  AWESOME.  Even better us the whole call and response thing she’s doing in the song….EPIC

8. JOKER

Is it bad that when I hear this I think of “One Room Disco”?  I seriously think Nakata is using the same synthesizer as both songs, so I otherwise declare this the album’s worst song.  I thought this was going to be a harder track, but I guess not.  Even MEG sounds more bored here than normal which is very unfortunate….especially being after such an epic track like “WHY”.

9. SKIN

The tracks here on out were all promotional songs for the album.  SKIN definitly wasn’t something I expected to have been promotion material, but there it was with a very WTF PV to back it up.  Seriously, though she chose an awesome song to have gotten it, because SKIN is like “MAKE LOVE” and “SUPERSONIC” rolled into one because like both they were more music fronted than lyrically important.  SKIN though really takes off because of the bouncy beat and the more grittier synth and I hear a bit of guitar in it which is awesome.  SKIN easily wins best song off the album.

10. BEAUTIFUL

MEG hasn’t had a title track since her debut album and it took Nakata that long to make one for her.  (BTW, where’s STEP and BEAM huh?)  Anyways it was the last PV to leak out and honestly, I wasn’t feeling much for it.  I mean it is slower than her previous PV’s which is a shocker she chose this to represent the album.  I have to say for being more of a ballad, this was a nice change after the frantic “SKIN”.  I kind of like the song more than when I hear it with the PV, but then again I don’t have to watch them dancing cats.  Another good choice and great way to end the album.

11. FREAK <yasutaka nakata remix>

I’m reviewing this track because it’s promotional for the album…I’m surprised it wasn’t even on the tracklist.  Anyway if memory serves you right, FREAK was a big WTF earlier this year because of MEG x Hadouken!  Luckily, for the fans she released a “Nakatafied” version of said song.   Other than the arrangement changes MEG has also been vocodered even further which is a risky touch on Nakata’s part.  Some points, I really like this version, but sometimes I think parts are a bit sloppy and in the end I really liked the original better because it was more in your face!

Tracks Recommended

  • SKIN
  • WHY
  • PRECIOUS
  • LIES
  • BEAUTIFUL

Song of Avoidance

  • DAYS

I got to be honest, I felt this album was a step-down to “STEP” (another pun).  I felt that Nakata was being too safe this time around and didn’t have the memorable songs that her previous album had.  MEG did surprise me with a few songs but otherwise, this album wasn’t as raw as it could’ve been because c’mon no really heavy beats this time around…I’m sorry, but this album will have to grow on me.

 

COLTEMÖNIKHA – COLTEMÖNIKHA March 26, 2009

Filed under: COLTEMÖNIKHA — solarblade @ 12:25 am
Tags: , , , ,

413z9ybvfzl

Track Listing

  1. fantastic fantasy
  2. Soratobu Hikari
  3. communication
  4. CLM
  5. Party Carronade
  6. Yum yum yummy
  7. Arikui Waltz

1. fantastic fantasy

Yeah, as much as I hate to say it…fantastic fantasy was definitly strange.  It seemed to stem off of capsule’s cute lounge sound they were utilizing at the time and Nakata incorporated in this song.  It’s strange because this would sound perfect in the Katamari games.  It isn’t bad, but it’s not worth repeating over and over as it gets a little too headachy.

2. Soratobu Hikari

Then we switch moods as Soratobu Hikari sounds like the Perfume/capsule of today.  Beginning with a catchy clapping beat, we enter the song with a pretty sweet mix of electic guitar and cuteness that doesn’t overflow.  Even singer Sakai Kate sounded good under the vocoder.  Actually to be quite honest, I consider this to be another one of Nakata’s masterpieces.

3. communication

I am always baffled by this track.  Sakai’s weird vocals with this mysterious sound just didn’t exactly connect fit.  The lyrics are also very strange.  Especially the English ones because they do not make sense at all.  To top it off, the song is repetitive and fails on many levels.  This could be the worst on the mini-album.

4. CLM

Our only interlude comes up next and it’s just as weird and mysterious as “communication” just a lot shorter.  The stock vocals that appear in the interlude spell out the group’s name which is odd, but I guess understandable, but would’ve made sense being at the front of the album.

5. Party Carronade

We finally return with something that’s a bit better than the other tracks.  Party Carronade definitly sounds like something Perfume would do, but oddly the song seems a little empty.  For a song to have a word like party, you’d think the song would be more fun, but it turns into something that lacked interest.

6. Yum yum yummy

Funny track name, Nakata returns to the lounge style again.  This time things aren’t as crazy like “fantastic fantasy” but once again the song seem to lack something important.  I love how the drums get gradually louder to get to a climax of sorts.  I don’t know…this song is kind of nice in a way.

7. Arikui Waltz

Interesting that the last track is actually as much a waltz as Nakata can go because the song has some interesting sounds.  I’m shocked to see something like this because I know Nakata has never made music in this style til now.  Anyways, Sakai once again fails to show any emotion, especially for a style like this…WTH

 

 

Nakata and Sakai’s first mini-album isn’t all that really.  I mean you hear a mix of the past and present styles Nakata is working with and even threw a surprise for us with Arikui Waltz.  Seriously, if you’re going to get this mini, just get it for Soratobu Hikari.

 

capsule – More! More! More! November 18, 2008

Filed under: capsule — solarblade @ 8:36 am
Tags: , , ,

moremoremore

Track Listing

  1. runway
  2. more more more
  3. the Time is Now
  4. JUMPER
  5. Phantom
  6. gateway
  7. Pleasure ground
  8. the mutations of life
  9. e.d.i.t.
  10. Adventure

1. runway

We introduce to this really funky synth opener.  I’m actually not liking the urban groove the song has to offer and it’s just there to open the album…the title runway sounds like a song COLTEMONIKHA would use but I guess not.

2. more more more

I know something but the song is a little different than the one I have which I think it’s because it’s the iTunes edition.  It’s like the song sounds pretty 80’s which is probably the theme of the album, it might not be but it’s a guess.  Toshiko sounds pretty strange pronouncing ~More, More, More~ it’s like she’s pronouncing Mwah, or Mois….I’d like to have her work on her English please.  Other than that the music is pretty exciting and full of life.

2. the Time is Now

We get the B-side next which I already said was a little disappointing and there’s something different about it.  The stock audio sounds way more clearer to me and less fluffy.  Anyways, there’s some rapping in it which I think is a first for a capsule song.  I’m actually starting to like the synths and the rapping mixing together, it made the song better IMO.  It’s a warm-up-to song for me.

4. JUMPER

OMG, they actually didn’t change the song for the album.  So you don’t have to worry about the pitch shifts and the beginning being changed.  Still the underside of the song is the fact the songs consists of well, one really looong phrase.  I still don’t even understand it.  What the song does right was the music.  It’s one of their bests in their career and with the synth love and that awesome bass synth + guitar moment.  Definitly is the best song on the album.

5. Phantom

Phantom was the first song from the album to have a preview.  The synths do remind me of XTina’s “Keeps Gettin’ Better”.  Anyway the song has a male voice under major vocoder, which also reminds me of Daft Punk’s stuff as well.  The music though is pretty wavy and cool.  If you must know, it is the shortest track off the album.  The male voice is so freaky during the middle.

6. gateway

gateway begins with some menacing stringwork and then there’s some synth that goes loud to soft and that’s pretty much it.  At least it leads into the next track…unnoticeably.

7. Pleasure ground

I didn’t even notice the song starting until Toshiko started in.  I love the synths here, it’s kind of like a combination of “Polyrhythm” and “Sugarless GiRL”.  It’s actually leaning more towards Polyrhythm, luckily it doesn’t seem so repetitive luckily.  I love Toshiko’s singing here, it actually wins here.  Perfume-related but at least it works right?

8. the mutations of life

See, now this is a song Ami could do and prolly be one of my favorites.  The song is pretty different for me as it is a lot more 80’s inspired.  The song does come off a little monotone after a while but the thumping beat and the chorus really does make the song fun and cool.  Definitly something really cool here.

9. e.d.i.t.

I really think this song WTF for me especially the video-game like synths that open the song up and then this voice says ~edit!~  and then the song becomes something really frantic and loud.  There’s a synth that raises pitch and it will annoy you.  I’m not sure if Toshiko sings in the song but there’s a presence of stock vocals.  It does seem messy to me, but the energy with this track is great.  One of the more aggressive tracks on the album.

10. Adventure

Ending off the album is Adventure which actually lives up to the title actually.  The music really does sound like an adventurous kind of song which is nice.  There’s a piano-like melody and with the synths backing it up, it’s nice.  About 1:30, Toshiko finally sings in the song and once proves that she’s good for Nakata.  What a nice finishing track.

Tracks Recommended

  •  JUMPER
  • Pleasure ground
  • Adventure
  • the Time is Now
  • e.d.i.t.

Song of Avoidance

  • the mutations of life

Wow, this is another great Nakata album for sure.  Though this time I wasn’t totally hating on the tracks.  I’m pretty this’ll be on my TOP albums of the year.  Most of the new tracks posed different sounds and wasn’t based off one idea.  The only thing I wished he worked on are the interlude/opening.  Those two weren’t really needed but damn this album was a great listen *RECOMMENDED* 

 

Perfume – Dream Fighter

Filed under: Perfume — solarblade @ 3:45 am
Tags: , ,

 dreamfighter

Track Listing

  1. Dream Fighter
  2. Negai
  3. Dream Fighter (Original Instrumental)
  4. Negai (Original Instrumental)

1. Dream Fighter

I was quite surprised with Dream Fighter because of well, come on everyone practically noticed that the girls did sound pretty different.  Like they were actually less synthetic than normal which is alright.  I love the energetic beats even though it’s no “GAME” or “edge” it’s still pretty awesome.  My favorite part would have to be Kashiyuka’s solo in the bridge, so cool and sweet to the ears.  I’m prolly not the only one who thought this either, but the song seemed short for me….it could just be me.  Another great A-side.

2. Negai

What’s up with the J-tek artists all of a sudden releasing ballad-like tracks.  I can actually say that I was disappointed with this one.  For some reason the song seemed really boring and it’s their slowest track as of right now.  The girls do sound alright, but it’s the laziness of the song that just affected me in not such a good way. 

 

 

Yea, Finally something that disappoints me…Negai was a nice try at a ballad, but I think “Macaroni” or even “SEVENTH HEAVEN” were better J-tek ballads in my honest opinion.  Dream Fighter was the highlight of the single being all about all their hard work and such.  So far this era has some great A-sides so far!

 

Perfume – Baby cruising Love/Macaroni October 31, 2008

Filed under: Perfume — solarblade @ 9:13 pm
Tags: , ,

 babycruisinglove

Track Listing

  1. Baby cruising Love
  2. Macaroni
  3. Baby cruising Love (Instrumental)
  4. Macaroni (Instrumental)

1. Baby cruising Love

I still think the first line is grating to my hearing, but this is one of thir best tracks.  Not only does it have the Nakata touch, but it seems like the songs actually has some emotion within it.  Kashiyuka sounds so young and petit, it’s quite scary.  The other two girls sound like they normally do.  I still think it has a wintry disposition to it which is such a nice surprise. 

2. Macaroni

I’m not one to be shocked when it comes to J-tek, but Macaroni has done that.  It’s quite slower than “Baby cruising Love” and sounds natural for a J-tek song.  There’s just something that I wished they did in the chorus.  It’s whenever they take the pause, I keep thinking they say ~ma-ma-macoroni~ but they don’t…*sad face*.  Still it’s one of their original offerings from the group.

 

 

Baby cruising Love ends off the era in a pretty good note and it was nice to see both tracks had PV’s.  BcL shows off what we already know of them and pulled off a pretty good laidback J-tek track.  Macaroni though was the surprise of the single with it’s bouncing factor and simplistic view on J-tek.  Have to give credit to Nakata for putting music to these tracks. 

 

 

capsule – L.D.K. Lounge Designers Killer October 28, 2008

Filed under: capsule — solarblade @ 5:32 pm
Tags: , , ,

Track Listing

  1. Soratobu Toshikeikaku
  2. Teleportation
  3. Lounge Designers Killer (ft. ether22)
  4. twinkle twinkle poppp!
  5. tiC taC
  6. Antenna
  7. Glider
  8. Jinrui no Shinpo to Chouwa
  9. do do pi do
  10. fin.

1. Soratobu Toshikeikaku

Beautiful strings are played in the beginning and then it quiets down and turns into a dance track.  The vocals keep going in and out and then we get into a nice mash of the strings and the beats.  Toshiko doesn’t come until a minute passes by and even then she’s ad-libbing AGAIN!….Though I already liked the track with its great combination of musicality.

2. Teleportation

A lot of bleeping coincides within the song which is oddly futuristic and yet really loud.  I blame the drummer for this one.  I think the bleeping is very reminescent of Perfume’s “Vitamin Drop” and probably was made during this era.  Toshiko to me sounds very airy for some reason but oh well.  Once again Toshiko fails to learn any English because she fails at saying ~Teleportation~

3. Lounge Designers Killer (ft. ether22)

This is very interesting.  Like it doesn’t sound like anything heard so far.  It’s mildly aggressive but not too much and Toshiko sounds great.  There’s a male voice in the song as well.  Though I’ve noticed during that part that the low synths sound exactly like access’s “EDGE”  which threw me for a loop.  I love how Toshiko says the title sounds pretty hot.  Best title track so far.

4. twinkle twinkle poppp!

We reenter the bossa nova side of things, but the song is cute and pretty bouncy.  Though I dispise how they started the song off because they sounded pretty high or something.  Once again, I feel as if she’s too airy for the song.  At the end of the song I felt it was an alright track, nothing too spectacular.

5. tiC taC

Something we haven’t heard in a while is this toned down and smooth jazz track.  I still think this new style of vocals Toshiko is trying here is pretty great and she sounds comfortable, unlike a few other tracks.  Only supporting the song is guitar, drums, and someone on the xylophone.  It ends pretty quickly, but it’s awesome.

6. Antenna

The only interlude of the album and it just a line of falling notes that only last about a few seconds.  Useless if you ask me.

7. Glider

Glider is surprisingly good.  It’s pretty dreamy as capsule songs go and Toshiko sounds great here.  I’m starting to see Nakata using the synths and vocoder good here and I think it was a great start with this track.  It’s also devoid of any of that jazzy style that’s been there since their debut.  It’s one of the stanout tracks from the album.

8. Jinrui no Shinpo to Chouwa

This oddly sounds like “Teleportation” for one thing.  It sounds even more cosmic that said song which is great.  Once again, I thought the percussion was a little too much for the song but Toshiko sounds great here.  Though I totally forget what it sounds like after a while.

9. do do pi do

Strange title for a strange song indeed.  It sounds like someone was on pot *cough* (nakata).  I didn’t find much interest in the song really but the bouncy piano line and Toshiko’s singing is alright.  The song lacked interest this time because Toshiko really sounded boring actually. Definitly the worst new track. 

10. fin.

 All the ending is is just a bouncy piano solo.  Kind of fun if you ask me, and did end the album quite nicely.  It’s also exactly one minute long isn’t that quite funny.

Tracks Recommended

  • Glider
  • Soratobu Toshikeikaku
  • tiC taC
  • Lounge Designers Killer

Song of Avoidance

  • do do pi do

I’m seeing the transformation that capsule’s taking and the tracks that showed it came out really well, but for others it was more or less of the same I’ve been hearing for a few albums now.  I got to say this album beats out NEXUS-2060 by a landslide.