Kurayami Monogatari

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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.

 

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Kalafina – storia June 27, 2009

Filed under: Kalafina — solarblade @ 6:56 pm
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storia

Track Listing

  1. storia
  2. lirica
  3. storia (instrumental)

1. storia

After that minor setback with “Lacrimosa” they actually tried to do folk again with storia and they finally got it right adding a sense of an epic sound as well.  All three girls do get their fair share of solos which is sweet enough and the songs mystic sound works with their vocals.  Well, maybe not KEIKO’s becuase it’s kind of nasally here, but WAKANA and Hikaru are quite nice.  They definitely still have it.

2. lirica

If you think it couldn’t get any better, it did.  lirica is one mysterious song from the ladies with haunting plucked strings and an undertone of electric guitar to make things sound darker.  Opera vocals and darker songs are always great and Yuki struck gold again with this.  The best part is the middle where they are quiet and gradually build up the suspense in the song.  I have to say, this easily should’ve been an A-side more than “storia”

 

 

Holy shit…Kalafina is definitely not losing any steam.  After “Lacrimosa”, Maya was officially out of the group which left us with a trio of amazing sounding ladies.  I was worried where would they go next, but with this single they are still strong as ever.  storia basically fixed the problems that “Lacrimosa” has and built upon that while lirica was surprisingly bone-chilling and almost as perfect as “sprinter”….*RECOMMENDED*

 

T.M.Revolution – progress

Filed under: T.M.Revolution — solarblade @ 6:38 pm
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Progress-1

Track Listing

  1. resurrection I
  2. I.D. ~LOVE ME CRAZY~
  3. LOVE SAVER
  4. BLACK OR WHITE? version 3
  5. last resort
  6. Madan ~Der Freischutz~
  7. VITAL BURNER
  8. Private Storm
  9. fragile
  10. HEAT CAPACITY
  11. Trace Millenium Road
  12. Master Feel Sad
  13. LIGHT MY FIRE
  14. resurrection II

1. resurrection I

Opening up the album is a very synth heavy opening.  I mean it’s not heavy, it’s just that it’s basically the only instrument on this track.  I kind of feel like there’s something mysterious about especially the various DOLBY-like sounds.  Cool opening

2. I.D. ~LOVE ME CRAZY~

We get into the album, and we get the typical T.M.R song, which is a bit of a disappointment because it utilizes the same sounds that Daisuke has been using since their debut which is getting old very fast.  The song’s awesome guitar riff does save the song somewhat, but I can’t help but feel disappointed in this track.

3. LOVE SAVER

Same problem exists in this song, but luckily it’s the synths and tempo of the song that saves it from being mediocre.  You can classify it as almost trance because of how fast it is.  Maybe if they had taken out the guitar, the song would’ve been better IMO.  Luckily it’s the best B-side I’ve heard in the era….though it is the only B-side of the era.

4. BLACK OR WHITE? version 3

The A-side that began the era, BLACK OR WHITE? isn’t that new of a song and if you really wanna be exact the original can be considered their debut….though when it was released it was credited not as T.M.Revolution…weird.  Though, on here it sounds even more disappointing as there’s just not enough to make it stand out and the arrangement is as stale as ever.

5. last resort

See now here’s something that finally sounds relatively different and yet still carries the bland T.M.R sound.  It’s a bit slower than the previous songs, but what got to me was the long length of the song reaching past 6 minutes.  I’m not a big fan of this song just because I feel it drags the entire time…so much for that right?

6. Madan ~Der Freischutz~

Ending off the era, Madan came in and blew my mind.  It’s actually more rock than the synthy stuff, right there, that told me something different was going on here and Takanori with vocals were starting to sound different as well.  Lots more of that awesome vibrato.  One of my favorite PV’s…sweeeet.

7. VITAL BURNER

Damn, VITAL BURNER begins pretty aggresively and it’s led into a track that I could see being in a Sonic game because of it’s high energy and Takanori’s more fiery vocals.  I’ll say, it’s another song that sounds good on a good day.  I think faster songs are his thing actually.  VITAL BURNER is a good track.

8. Private Storm

Oh gawd, I love the opening to Private Storm.  Sadly, it suffers from staleDaisukeitis…Beyond the sweet opening, nothing stands out from here and even Takanori is boring to listen to.  Yeah, let’s just pass this up right now.

9. fragile

Then out of the blue, fragile pops up and blows my mind out of the water.  It’s one of the pre-coordinate songs that I can’t stop listening to because fragile is like amazing.  Covered in synths galore and hard guitar riffs (mostly the synths).  The song makes me feel like I’m in a crystal cave (as odd as it sounds).  It’s also one of the more slower songs, but damn was this refreshing…best song off the album.

10. HEAT CAPACITY

The middle A-side, HEAT CAPACITY after “fragile” was probably the biggest mistake they could’ve done.  Not only is it bland, it just sounds terrible after the last song.  I mean yes, it’s got its positive parts, but other than that it’s terribly bad IMO….verses are the best thing about the song, with that freaky synth beat….but that chorus = fail.

11. Trace Millenium Road

Just like “fragile”, Trace Millenium Road was something new and nice from Daisuke and Takanori.  It starts with a strings line that uses a lot of arpeggios which made me smile.  Then when the bridge pops up things get explosive and it becomes a pretty epic ballad of sorts.  It’s another one of the older tracks that I always have to listen to, it’s pretty sweet.  BTW, I know why they stick three words together for one track on each album cept his debut.  Trace Millenium Road = TMR….hahaha very clever.

12. Master Feel Sad

I really liked the folkish acoustic guitar opening, but things instantly change when the song goes into a hard rock sound which threw me for a loop when I heard this.  This song sounds so much like abingdon boys school track especially with Takanori’s wild singing.  I got say this was something new and I like it alot.  Another standout track, though real short…almost 3 minutes long.

13. LIGHT MY FIRE

No this is not a cover of The Doors well-known track.  So I got to say, it’s another disappointing track as it goes back into the lame Daisuke sound that I’ve been used to.  It’s also just a tad too slow for me and once again drags the song into unbearable levels.  Sorry, but this song is one boring pop track.

14. resurrection II

So the album finishes off basically the same way it started with the same synth melody going on.  There’s a bit more going on here though, with an added synth melody and those DOLBY sounds are descending instead of ascending.  Shows that the album is now over hahahah.

Tracks Recommended

  • fragile
  • Trace Millenium Road
  • Madan ~Der Freischutz~
  • VITAL BURNER

Song of Avoidance

  • last resort

Yeah, finally we’re leaving the pre-GUNDAM era….progress was a little bit of old and a bit of new.  Though I’ve had it with these stale compositions that Daisuke’s been using and downright started to dislike it.  I can see he worked better with some tracks like fragile and Trace Millenium Road because they sounded different enough to make em stand out.  Still, this album was meh to me overall.

 

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.

 

Stephanie – Colors of my Voice June 17, 2009

Filed under: Stephanie — solarblade @ 6:11 am
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colorsofmyvoice

Track Listing

  1. Kotoba Nanka Iranai Hodo ni
  2. Changin’ feat. Roma Tanaka
  3. FUTURE
  4. Kindan no Knockout
  5. Together
  6. Forever
  7. Pride ~A Part of Me~ feat. SRM
  8. KISSES
  9. Kizuna
  10. a song for you
  11. Daisuki ni Minna e. feat. fans

1. Kotoba Nanka Iranai Hodo ni

We begin Stephanies sophomore album with a soft pop track, Kotoba Nanka Iranai Hodo ni.  I guess I can easily say that she didn’t open up with those whistle notes like how “Kimi ga Iru Kagiri” opened up “Stephanie”.  She might come off as a little bit too stressed at the start but this is actually quite nice.  I really like the chorus though, that was pretty nice from her.  Nice opening track

2. Changin’ feat. Roma Tanaka

Lulz at the recent problems Roma has been xD.  Anyway this was the track the kickstarted off this era and it’s interesting that she chose the duet over the solo version.  It’s a nice track to listen to because its of it’s more orchestral sound, but I just can’t get my head around to exactly like Roma’s voice…it just doesn’t sound appropriate especially with Stephanie’s nicer vocals.  She should’ve just stuck the solo version on.

3. FUTURE

She ended the era off with this A-side, FUTURE.  Interesting that it was the only upbeat A-side of the era and I quite liked it alot since the single’s release.  Stephanie sings pretty brightly and she sounds really good hear with the strings playing around mostly.  The song does sound a bit similar to “Winter Gold”, but otherwise it’s still pretty good as the leading, danceable A-side. 

4. Kindan no Knockout

I was expecting something quite explosive from this track, was I wrong.  The song is actually something more like that acoustic pop song some artists like to do….y’know like Shion Tsuji or YUI.  It’s a bit darker which is what she needed and it sounds quite mysterious (for an acoustic track).  She should do more of these kind of tracks, LOVIN’ IT

5. Together

Together was originally off the “Changin'” single as a B-side and sadly it carries that “Stephanie” sound that was sadly prevalent on the album.  Very laidback and somewhat cheesy.  It’s alright, but I think she should’ve left this on the single because right now, it doesn’t exactly fit the mold of this album.

6. Forever

I really love how she opened up Forever in her higher register and then it turns into this dance track which surprised me because she hasn’t done something like this before.  Another thing I noticed was that the song is mostly sung in English.  It might be lyrically cheesy, but the song does harken back to when this eurobeat was pretty popular and I quite like this track as well.  Surprising, but handled great.

7. Pride ~A Part of Me~ feat. SRM

Her second A-side comes by and it’s so much better than “Changin'” even though they basically are close enough in style to one another.  I really think this should be one of Stephanie’s epic ballads because it really is.  Stephanie’s really sounded great and this other girl SRM was just as good because they were together and sounding in synch.  A way better song that Hector Fierce’s.

8. KISSES

KISSES also was a B-side, coming from “Pride’s” single and it actually fits on here better than “Together”.  It’s kind of like “Kindan no Knockout” in the way that it sounds darker than normal and it’s prolly from that bass synth.  It sounds pretty nice on the album IMO, it might come off as a bit disappointing, but this was nice.

9. Kizuna

Artists love using the orgel huh?  Well, Stephanie begins this track off with it and then coming in singing the opening line and she almost goes into whistle note mode, but luckily she keeps it tame here.  It’s a bit of a light acoustic pop track and oddly sounds nice after “KISSES”.  There’s also a guy singing a little bit with her in the bridge…that made me raise my eyebrows a little bit.  It’s not too bad, but I think it’s my least favorite of the new tracks.

10. a song for you

Jeeze….another orchestral ballad.  At least she’s doing this alone finally, I’ll have to say she knows how to do these ballads really well because Stephanie just sounds like an angel here.  She does yell out a few notes here and there, but I think it’s for dramatic effect and I quite like it.  While we’re here, the lyrics are wow.  Even though she switches languages a few times, the English parts are nicely written and it doesn’t come out as horrible cheesy.  Another epic ballad? I think so.  She finally does some whistle notes at the end and brings the song to its ending.  Super nice.

11. Daisuki ni Minna e. feat. fans

I mean at first, I was like WTF….feat. fans?  What’s that supposed to mean?  Anyway, this song does sound a bit like “FUTURE” which is good for me because it’s upbeat and easily danceable.  The chorus was kind of cool with the falling notes, that was cool.  I love the echo addition in the middle, I thought that was an interesting addition.  Still what’s this fans thing about?  I mean I can see this song being used on a tour and have her “fans” sing with her. 

Tracks Recommended

  • Pride ~A Part of Me~ feat. SRM
  • Forever
  • Kindan no Knockout
  • a song for you
  • Kotoba Nanka Iranai Hodo ni

Song of Avoidance

  • Together

I’ll be honest, I came to this album with a very negative outlook of what it was going to be like….and that cover….why Pineapples?  Anyways, this album basically blew me away especially since “Stephanie” was otherwise a really meh album.  She stepped up her game really well and I like all of the tracks except Changin’ well I like the solo version so, in this case I like the entire album.  Surprise, Surprise it’s another album I enjoyed fully! *RECOMMENDED

 

SCANDAL – ShoujoS

Filed under: SCANDAL — solarblade @ 4:30 am
Tags: , ,

shoujos

Track Listing

  1. ShoujoS
  2. Natsu Neiro
  3. SO EASY (Type A only)
  4. FUTURE (Type B only)
  5. ShoujoS (Instrumental)

1. ShoujoS

Each A-side SCANDAL they throw out at us shows them getting better and better and Shoujo S right now is there best one.  Instead of having a rock party (DOLL) or a set melody (SAKURA Goodbye) they decided to do a bit of a mix.  Throw some harmonizations from the gals and we get this song.  There’s something I really enjoy by the more laidback rock sound from the group.  It’s one of their catchiest songs.

2. Natsu Neiro

Even more laidback, Natsu Neiro pops up next and gives the girls a bit less of an energetic performance.  It’s a little bit on the boring side however since it is a bit of a slow pop/rock.  I still have no idea who’s who singing, but the solo lines are pretty good, but the chorus was where things get kind of shaky, especially since those high notes here were terrible.  Other than that, they have them an ok track, nothing too specatcular lol.

3. SO EASY

SO EASY takes notes from “SAKURA Goodbye” since there’s clearly a set melody which is pretty cool and once again the girls sound really good here and singing fast at different parts.  It’s loud, forceful and full of life here.  It’s pretty interesting that it’s only on the Type A of the single….way better than “Natsu Neiro”

4. FUTURE

FUTURE however was a bit like “SAKURA Goodbye” is arrangement, but there’s enough difference to actually enjoy it, but I have to say it isn’t as memorable really.  Sounds like something you’d hear from their indies collection.  It’s not very exciting unlike the previous tracks, but I guess it can hold its own candle.

 

 

SCANDAL really are gettin popular especially if ShoujoS is tied-in to Bleach.  ShoujoS brought a more free rock track that sound super in this case and the PV helped it as well.  SO EASY also was really good and very catchy…it was hard to choose what was the best track.  Natsu Neiro and FUTURE though kind of ran them down to a bland sound so I can’t say I like them alot, but they’re alright.

 

T.M.Revolution – Madan ~Der Freischutz~ June 10, 2009

Filed under: T.M.Revolution — solarblade @ 1:53 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

madan

Track Listing

  1. Madan ~Der Freischutz~
  2. LOVE SAVER

1. Madan ~Der Freischutz~

This is where I started noticing things were changing around with Takanori and Daisuke.  I mean it still has the Daisuke sound that’s plaguing the song unfortuately, but the song’s synths were a bit different which was cool because this song is pretty damn energetic.  I love the chorus though where we finally get some awesome Takanori.  Though it does sound familiar….meh oh well LOL

2. LOVE SAVER

Yeah, and then we get the B-side which is sadly at the start sounded pretty disappointing sounding like something from “Suite Season”.  My negative thoughts were put to rest when the song speeds up immensely and it like trance, how cool is that?  I mean the whole song is super fast and I wonder how Takanori actually completed this song.  The chorus was a bit disappointing as it featured the same ringing and guitar “Madan” had.  Still impressive.

 

 

Ending the “progress” era, Madan ~Der Freischutz~ was actually the last time the songs all before this sounds typically same because of whatever reason Daisuke wanted to change up his sound.  Madan was a pretty strong track, but I really remember it from the PV with the missile arms.  LOVE SAVER is probably his fastest track as of then so it was pretty cool to hear a fast track finally.  I’m finally done with what I call the early days.  “BOARDING” up is all new sounds and just different ideas…sweet!