Chords: KOKIA – New Day, New Life

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If anyone is a KOKIA fan, I transcribed the chords for her 2012 song New Day, New Life. You can find the chords at Ultimate-Guitar (which will also transpose them for you if you want). I would’ve posted them here, but WordPress keeps on deleting the spaces, even when I put it in the “code” tag.

You can also check out my other tabs/chords!

This tweet is all too relevant.

You are welcome to offer corrections. Credit goes to SnakeRoot for the romaji.

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Kalafina – Heavenly Blue

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Tracklist:

  1. Heavenly Blue
  2. Heavenly Blue ~Instrumental~
  3. Heavenly Blue ~TV size~

***

I am a mite disappointed with Kalafina’s latest song Heavenly Blue. It starts off well, with a brief choral opening, reminiscent of a church. But sometime early in the songwriting process, Yuki Kajiura must have stopped by the recycling plant, where she took Signal’s instrumentals and Consolation’s melody, and then mashed them together to create the verse of her new song, ta-da! Snark aside for a moment though, listen to Hikaru’s sizzling vocals. My favourite sections from Heavenly Blue are those with Miss H tearing into the melody lines. Moving on, the dance/industrial sound of the verse suddenly turns into classic anison in the pre-chorus and chorus. There’s quite a disconnect between the different passages of the song, and it kinda feels like the verse from one song has been slotted into another. Also, Wakana takes over the lead role from Hikaru, which is a drop in energy. Wakana’s been a bit weak recently, and her voice sounds a little fragile. Luckily, she’s still on note and her tone is as pure as ever, and for a bonus, her breath placement is good too! Towards the end of the song, Kajiura changes up the chorus melody, but looking at the whole, it’s not the most creative Kalafina piece (and Kalafina aren’t exactly renowned for their great variety).

BUT GAWD IT’S A PRETTY SONG.

***

Rating: 3.5 stars

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I Succumbed To The Forces Of Evil

penguin

All bow to the kawaii penguin overlords!

penguin 2

^_^

Much squeeing ensued from the family members.

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Chords: Joe Inoue – CLOSER

closer

Yup so I finally uploaded the chords for Joe Inoue’s CLOSER, which I transcribed three years ago then sat on for some reason. You can find them here. My advice is to play power chords instead of the major/minor chords written (especially if you’re playing along with the song), but if you wanna have a go at playing it acoustic then what’s written will be more useful. Enjoy!

Check out my other tabs and chords here.

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coldrain – Until The End

until the end

Tracklist:

  1. Aware and Awake
  2. Evolve
  3. You Lie
  4. Fade Away
  5. March On
  6. House of Cards

***

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miwa – Kimi ni Deaeta Kara

Kimi ni Deaeta Kara

Tracklist:

  1. Kimi ni Deaeta Kara
  2. Let Me Go
  3. Kimi ni Deaeta Kara ~Seikajoshi Koutou Gakkou Suisougaku-bu version~
  4. Kimi ni Deaeta Kara ~acoustic version~
  5. Kimi ni Deaeta Kara ~instrumental~
  6. Let Me Go ~instrumental~

***

miwa’s new single kicks off with Kimi ni Deaeta Kara, a cheery pop number. Following a low-key guitar intro, the track bursts to life with thumping percussion, wordless chanting and the twinkle of piano (and cheesy “yays”). The main melody line isn’t much better than “a little above average”, but the song is performed well. miwa’s vocals are bright and she hits her notes easily. The other instruments are good too. The basslines are more complex than in ordinary J-Pop, full of slaps and pops which really drive the song forward, while synth lines fill out gaps in the melody. The percussion is intrusive though, with large thumps giving an annoying, messy sound. Kimi ni Deaeta Kara is okay, but miwa’s done a lot better.

The B-side Let Me Go is a chill R’n’B-style tune. With thundering beats and waves of synths in the chorus, it’s a welcome step away from miwa’s acoustic pop-rock zone. Let Me Go isn’t breaking any records for creativity, but it’s a solid, well-executed song.

The single also contains a couple of other versions of the A-side – track 3 is a brass band version, while track 4 is an acoustic take. I’m impressed with the brass version. The horns are strong and complemented by the joyful trills of flute. The slow addition of instruments with their harmonies and countermelodies gives a fantastic build-up to the chorus, which is full of intricate flute lines and proud brass. However, as with the original, the drums are cluttersome and the girls shouting “hey” is laaaaaaaaaame. (And what’s with those random whistles at the end?)

The transformation to acoustic hasn’t really helped Kimi ni Deaeta Kara. Generally, I don’t like acoustic versions because they’re a bit plain and boring, and this is no exception. Also, miwa’s voice is more exposed against the simpler instrumentation, and while she’s definitely not a bad singer, I don’t find her as interesting on her own. Singing with a full instrumental backing complements her voice, and the acoustic version can’t compare with the original. The steel drums are a unique touch though, and spiced up the track nicely. Although some of the percussion rhythms are still kinda random…

Overall, Kimi ni Deaeta Kara has its ups and downs. Let Me Go is good, and the brass version of Kimi ni Deaeta Kara is skilfully arranged, but the other two were rather average.

***

Rating: 3 stars

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Song Feature: Symphony X – The Turning

I’m gonna use this “Song Feature” section to talk about songs with random things I find interesting. My ReVamp post is now part 1 of this series.

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J-Poop in Review (May 2014)

Here’s my lazy attempt to catch up on all those things I didn’t review. Now my chemistry pracs are over, I’ve got about 14 more hours free each week, but I’m not sure if that’s going to correspond to an increase in posts. Gotta study for exams after all! Now on with the show…

In this post I cover angela’s Sidonia, Eri Kitamura’s Tenohira -show-, Konomi Suzuki’s This Game, Natsumi Kon’s Niji no Kakera and marina’s Hug.

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Why I Do Read Manga?

I talk about Onani Master Kurosawa, but don’t go into specifics. Possible spoiler in point 1 in the first comment.

OMK

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Dear Yamato – Lame Limericks

Very light spoilers for Uchuu Senkan Yamato 2199.

yamato 2199
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Dear Yamato – Goodbye Stereotypes, Hello Gamilans

Spoilers for Uchuu Senkan Yamato 2199.
yamato cast

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Thirty Million Seconds Of Blogging

happy hxhYo peeps!

I thought I should do some kind of celebratory post, ‘cos today is my first anniversary of blogging. I’m incredibly surprised I lasted this long. Thanks to all the people who read and commented on my posts. Looking back, I’m happy at how my writing and my music-assessing skills have improved. Continue reading

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ELISA – Millenario

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Tracklist:

  1. Millenario
  2. Sign -Yakusoku no Kane-
  3. Rain Cage
  4. Millenario (TV Size)

***

The A-side to ELISA’s new single Millenario is a graceful but powerful ballad. Starting with a delicate piano-based arrangement, the song slowly builds towards the vibrant, uplifting chorus.  Everything becomes stronger in the chorus – ELISA’s vocals are less breathy and more defined, the dynamics shift louder, and dramatic, low brass lines drive the song forward.

Millenario‘s arrangement is very good. It handles both the quiet and strong sections well, using restraint when necessary and growing more complex in the chorus, but always staying in control. The guitar solo in the bridge is out of place though. Given the electric guitar plays such a minor role in the song, it’s weird they decided to add a solo. Also, the ending is weak. The closing piano is anticlimactic, and Millenario would have done better to finish immediately after the last chorus, or end on a strong note. However speaking generally, it’s a more than respectable effort.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a translation of the lyrics. But using the English lines, the picture from the anime edition, and my unmatched powers of inference, it became pretty obvious what the song is about. Millenario is clearly a touching love song, i.e. Miyuki shipping herself hard with her ONII-SAMA. Final rating: wincest/10.

The two B-sides are kinda generic. Sign -Yakusoku no Kane is the better of the pair. It shows creativity with its unusual chanting lines, the slowed pace of the verse and the unsettling melodies in the bridge. But the chorus is bland, although ELISA redeems it to a degree with vocals that are a tad stronger than usual. It’s good enough, but nothing memorable. The second B-side Rain Cage is an average dance/anison track, and fails at capturing me.

This is a pretty decent release. Millenario is the best of the three tracks, and Sign -Yakusoku no Kane- holds up all right, but Rain Cage isn’t that interesting. Overall, it continues her run of good singles, and is another solid package of songs.

***

Rating: 3.5 stars

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Reviewing My Reviewing

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I’ve done quite a few reviews on my blog now, so I thought I’d do a rundown on my artistic preferences and how much priority I give them. Though there’s no concrete rule – what may apply to one song may not apply to another – I hope this will give you some idea of how I evaluate if a song is “good”, and give some perspective to my reviews. Continue reading

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Jin Hashimoto – STAND PROUD

stand proud

That cover is FABULOUS.

Tracklist:

  1. STAND PROUD
  2. STAND PROUD (ORIGINAL KARAOKE)

***

The OP for JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders is a fiery rock number. The arrangement is powerful and fast, with crunchy guitars and a meaty drum lines. While the instrumentals are strong, the vocals aren’t so fab. Jin Hashimoto has certainly has the capabilities, but really could have done better. He just lacks some of the oomph that would have made STAND PROUD shine. You can hear Jin’s effort in the last word of the chorus (SUTANDO!!!), but in other places he’s far too relaxed. Probably the worst lines are the “stand up, stand up, stand up” and “all right now, all right now, all right now” in the chorus, where he sounds like he’s napping. Overall, his vocals are actually good, but they could’ve easily been improved.

I enjoy the guitar work in STAND PROUD. The lead melodies play a triumphant battle anthem, while the rhythm section lays down the heavy backing. The guitar solo is awesome too. I always like it when the solo incorporates a previously used motif, because it ties the solo in more with the rest of the song. (Plus there’s some rad shredding.)

There are a couple of other good points. First, the bridge gives us a nice break in intensity, but doesn’t feel weak or out of place. This is where STAND PROUD stomps on the previous JoJo OPs – both JoJo ~Sono Chi no Sadame~ and BLOODY STREAM‘s bridges felt kinda random and a little bland. Second, those chants of “JoJo, JoJo, JoJo” in the middle of the chorus are GLORIOUS.

STAND PROUD is a swaggering, brazen song, full of fighting spirit, and a great addition to the JoJo songs which have come before.

…Also I just realised. STAND PROUD… Stands… yeah, I’m a little slow.

***

Rating: 4.5 star(dust crusader)s

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