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.

sidonia 2
angela – Sidonia

I wonder if Atsuko’s become a better singer, or can I just tolerate her voice now? Anyway, I’m happy enough with her on this single. A-side Sidonia is an eclectic song drawing from a range of influences, from the war-horns to the sci-fi electronic/dance elements. The different sections are really disconnected, but overall I dig this tune. Both the lyrics and music fit Knights of Sidonia perfectly. I can’t remember the B-side, except it was a ballad (?) and I deleted it after a minute.

Still wish Katsu would team up with a different vocalist, his compositional skills are wasted on Atsuko.

Rating: I dunno… 3 stars?

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show2

Eri Kitamura – Tenohira -show-

I’m fond of KitaEri’s anison music, as she goes all the way to metal-land with dark chord progressions, barrages of drums and strong guitar-work. Pity I’m less keen on her voice though, her head voice is pretty average and she has a tendency to go nasal. Anyway, Tenohira -show- is one of Eri’s better songs, brimming with complex riffs and skilful drumming. I enjoy the tempo drop at the chorus, and the vocals are acceptable, so overall I’m pretty keen on this song.

The second track Greedy;(cry) is heavy. Really heavy. The crazed drumming and down-tuned guitars would be more expected in a death metal album than on the B-side of an anison single (and there’s even occasional growls to add to the feeling). I want to like this track, but it’s too busy and disorganised. While I appreciate the separate ideas, they don’t come together well.

Rating: 3.5 stars

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This game [Single]

Konomi Suzuki – This Game

Konomi’s new single fixes up a lot of her vocal problems, and I can get through without wincing. Thank goodness. This Game is an energetic, playful anison piece, infused with delightful piano lines and aggressive bass licks. Second track Delighting is an electronic version of This Game. It’s got a simpler arrangement and it’s not as interesting, but then again I don’t like those kind of songs as much anyway. My favourite part is the metal-inspired chords in the bridge before the guitar solo, but apart from that not much stands out. The final B-side Cyber Thunder Cider is AWESOME. A short, synthy track that’s full of punch, it opens with fast chanting drenched in filters. The vocal lines race along, like those seiyuu or denpa songs (except Konomi’s actually a good singer). A ridiculously fun track to cap off this single.

Interesting, just found out Cyber Thunder Cider was originally a Vocaloid song.

Rating: 4 stars

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niji no kakera

Natsumi Kon – Niji no Kakera

As much as I’d love to gush praise over whatever Natsumi Kon touches, holy shit this is generic. Niji no Kakera is nice. Nice in that way I’ve heard in ten thousand anime songs before it. That’s all I can say, really. I guess the composers couldn’t come up with anything better, when they were being force-fed sugar by the Isshukan Friends producers. The B-side Gift is a little more exciting, but still rather bland. Natsumi Kon is one of anison’s better vocalists, but pleaaaaaase give her something to work with!

Hmm, the acoustic guitar arpeggios in Niji no Kakera could do with some work too, every now and then a string sounds dull.

Rating: 2.5 stars

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hug

marina – Hug

I wonder if the amount of anime girl boobs is inversely proportional to song quality…

Hug – marina’s falling asleep, and so am I.

To You and The Truth – The main problem with marina ballads is that she doesn’t have much expression. Her dynamics are too stable and there’s no variation, so the song’s boring. The Truth is more interesting than To You because of the unusual strings, hand drumming and 3/4 timing, but they’re both kinda meh.

Rating: 2 stars

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Definitely not getting lazy towards the end.

Feel free to share your thoughts on these releases! Anything else you enjoyed last month?

This entry was posted in angela, Eri Kitamura, Konomi Suzuki, marina, Natsumi Kon and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to J-Poop in Review (May 2014)

  1. Arthur Marsh says:

    I have to say that I like all the vocalists in this review and have heard them all live, and agree that good songs are important – hope that you can hear them live also sometime soon.

  2. bokusenou says:

    Great reviews! I haven’t been keeping up with j-pop much lately, so it’s nice to see a summary.

    By the way, you’ll probably notice this soon anyway, but you have a small but unfortunate typo in your post title.

  3. Artemis says:

    No surprise about the marina song not being particularly inspirational – based on her work thus far, she does far, far better at the heavier rock stuff. There’s no energy in this one at all, and I just don’t think ballads suit her vocal style all that much to begin with.
    Gotta say though, I love angela’s ‘Sidonia’. I’ve always quite liked angela’s work, even if not all their songs have personally appealed to me, but this one’s probably my favourite single of theirs since… I don’t know, 2003 maybe? It does indeed feel pretty disjointed, which normally I instinctively dislike, but I think the heavy electronic feel really makes the song pop out, in a good, high-energy kind of way.

    • Alex says:

      Yup, so far I’ve been much more impressed with marina’s rock songs than her slow songs.
      Sidonia is my new favourite angela song too! I’m thinking I should check them out sometime. From my limited sample of angela songs, I’ve been impressed with their compositions – they seem more creative than a lot of anison dreck.

  4. Mack says:

    Oh interesting way to do a lot of reviews to get off your list.
    I’ve only heard 4 of them:

    angela Sidonia- Amazing song and I loved the electronic part the most, and the B-side can’t remember anything of it.

    Eri Kitamura Tenohira – Heard the short PV and was ok, but I wasn’t that fond of it. Mostly because I haven’t heard that much from her recently. But is still a good song. I haven’t heard the B-side so I’ll need to check it out.

    Konomi Suzuki This game – Amazing single. I was really happy when I heard the opening for the anime and it was so cool. Hearing the full version was even better. I didn’t liked that much Delighting because I wanted a new song, not another version of this game ¬¬
    But Cyber Thunder Cider was my favorite of the single, I think it was really catchy and worked for me a lot.

    Natsumi Kon – Niji no Kakera I liked the song because it mixed well for the anime theme, even if it sounds like other anime songs already released but I really liked it and also because it’s the first single I hear from her. But I liked more Gift because it had more energy and more power thanks to the arrangement.

    Alex, what songs do you recommend of Natsumi Kon? I didn’t know she had more songs and I’m interested in her voice, it sounded so cool in the songs.

    • Alex says:

      Interesting way huh… I didn’t really enjoy doing it, might not do it this way again haha.

      Natsumi Kon is pretty new, so she’s only released three singles total. I’ve reviewed the other two. I would advise checking out Watashi wa Souzou Suru first, as I think it’s her best release.

  5. Nice set of reviews. Interesting to see that Konomi is improving a lot.

    Hope you give Aoi Eir one more chance: she has a new single coming up for SAO. And maybe you can try reviewing an idol single for a change, even if only to demolish their vocals xD

    • Alex says:

      I’ll consider Aoi… but yeah I dunno😛
      I don’t really wanna do idol groups though – can’t be bothered going out of my way to trash them lol. I already trash artists I like anyway lol.

  6. Justin says:

    …Did you really decide to have J-Poop in the title? Stop lying to us man!

  7. To be honest, when I first read the comment, I thought that the whole post would be pretty negative. But it didn’t turn out that way.

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